Had Bribed Top Sebi Officials: Saradha Chief

Sudipto Sen, accused in a multi-crore chit fund scam told his CBI interrogators that he had bribed top Sebi officials to help him circumvent the market regulator’s strict rules.

Published: 27th June 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th June 2014 09:09 AM   |  A+A-

KOLKATA: Saradha chairman Sudipto Sen, accused in a multi-crore chit fund scam, on Thursday told his CBI interrogators that he had bribed top Sebi officials through two businessmen to help him circumvent the market regulator’s strict rules.

Sen claimed he had transferred large amounts of money to the Sebi officials after they sent notices asking him not to raise money from the public. While some of these officials are still working with Sebi, some have retired, he added. The CBI has summoned the businessmen as well as Sen’s driver. The investigative agency will interrogate two Saradha employees who had worked in the company’s accounts department.

The CBI late on Wednesday arrested businessman Shantanu Ghosh, who had helped Sen amass crores of rupees from the public and send it abroad through hawala transactions.

Ghosh has also been charged with defrauding banks of `80 crore. He was arrested after Sen told the CBI that he had bought a satellite TV channel permit from him for `30 crore and a factory for `140 crore.

Once close to the CPM, Ghosh switched his loyalty to the ruling TMC after it came to power.

The CBI and Enforcement Directorate are also looking for a British journalist who had worked with Saradha’s English newspaper Bengal Post but left the country after the scam was busted. The investigators believe that the journalist’s foreign nationality helped Sen stash huge amounts of money in tax havens abroad.

“She drew a huge sum as salary though she hardly worked for the daily. We are also looking for her one-time boyfriend, a famous journalist with suspected ISI links. The man had spent months in jail charged with rape and it will not be difficult for us to nab him,” a CBI official said.

“Things will fall in place as we have identified several people, including politicians, businessmen, a former IPS officer and some serving IPS officers. We are serious about our paper work as the

special investigation team formed by the West Bengal government seems to have deliberately spoilt the case,” he said.

The investigating agencies also plan to raid some offices in New Delhi and question some people associated with the Saradha group.

The plan for Sen to flee to Kashmir -- he was arrested from there -- was hatched at an MP’s flat in South Avenue, they said.


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