Saradha chit fund kingpin, Sudipto Sen, told the police that he had spent at least `400 crore to keep the politicians and police officers in good humour.
Sen and his close aide, Debjani Mukherjee, were interrogated separately by the police throughout the day on Wednesday. The duo also increased the amount involved in the scam from the initial `400 crore to ` 2,100 crore. “Sen has said that `400 crore was spent on MPs, MLAs and police officers.
He also said that the scam amount was `2,100 crore. We are still unconvinced and feel that the figure could increase,” said a police detective to ‘Express’.
Police also told that they have information about 254 bank accounts belonging to Saradha group. Of these, the police sources said that 40 bank accounts have no balance while 50 others have negligible balance.
On Wednesday, Manoj Chauhan Nagel, another accused and Saradha Group director, was remanded to judicial custody till May 22.
Meanwhile, pushed on the back-foot and tainted by the involvement of party MPs in the chit fund scam, TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced a one-of-its kind social security scheme for investors on Wednesday.
“In the wake of the growing financial insecurity, we are thinking of a social security scheme.
“It will ensure proper safety of public money and ensure its safe and proper return. We will shortly put out a proposal on the website of the finance department to seek public comments,” said Mamata.
She is under pressure to deflect the negative publicity garnered by the TMC ahead of the crucial panchayat polls. With the Sudipto Sen-run Saradha chit fund going bust, thousands of small investors and agents were left in the lurch.
With the public seething with resentment, Mamata swiftly withdrew the Bill passed by the erstwhile Left Government to protect small investors, and recently passed a new Bill, West Bengal Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishment Bill, 2013, to regulate chit funds companies. She also announced a `500-crore corpus to provide relief to investors.