KOLKATA:The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday summoned TMC MP K D Singh for interrogation on foreign investments that he had failed to declare before authorities.
The probe by the Central agency began after it got information from the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) that Singh, owner of the Alchemist Group of companies, had purchased insurance policies worth $30 million on behalf of the AXA China Region Insurance from British Virgin Islands through Austin Futures.
Singh’s trust was associated with British Virgin Islands, the FIU report stated. It is unclear if he had informed Indian regulators such as Sebi, about the massive transaction. The ED suspects that Singh laundered funds collected through various ponzi schemes in the country.
Singh is the eighth TMC MP to be summoned by by intelligence agencies. While suspended TMC Rajya Sabha member Kunal Ghosh is still in jail, former MP Srinjoy Bose, who was arrested, quit the party and Parliament the day after he secured bail.
TMC national secretary and Rajya Sabha MP Mukul Roy’s deposition before the CBI that the TMC had links with the scam was a bolt from the blue for the party leadership which had expected him to toe the official line that the allegations were “part of the BJP’s political conspiracy”. Singh, who owns a private jet and wears dapper $ 30,000 suits, is worth over Rs 10,000 crore, is very close to West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee.
The ED summons served on the Rajya Sabha member has opened up another can of worms for the party, which is already knee-deep in trouble over the alleged involvement of several of its leaders in the chit fund scam.
His 52 offices and houses all over the country were raided by the I-T Department on June 21 and investment documents that ran into hundreds of crores of rupees were seized.
The I-T Department then alerted all other Central economic investigation agencies about the Chinese insurance policy documents that were recovered. The FIU handed over the case to the ED after investigation.
Singh had come under the ED scanner in 2013, when the Sebi, in its crackdown on “collective investment schemes”, pulled up Alchemist Infra Realty Ltd, asking it to wind up all activities and refund the money collected from public investors, estimated to be over Rs 1,000 crore, within three months.