ED attaches assets linked to Bengal's ex-minister Jyoti Priya Mallick, two others in PDS scam

"The market value of these properties is estimated to be significantly more than Rs. 150 Crore," an official said.
Jyotipriya Mallick being taken by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials to be produced in court in connection with the alleged ration scam.
Jyotipriya Mallick being taken by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials to be produced in court in connection with the alleged ration scam. (File Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate has attached assets worth more than Rs 150 crore linked to former West Bengal Minister Jyoti Priya Mallick and two others in a PDS ration "scam"-related money laundering case, an official said on Friday.

According to the official, the action was taken by the agency's Kolkata Zonal Office which provisionally attached various assets of book value of Rs. 50.47 Crore allegedly acquired out of Proceeds of Crime (PoC) derived and obtained from PDS Ration Scam by several persons including Jyoti Priya Mallick (then Minister-In-Charge of Food and Supply Department. Govt. of West Bengal), Bakibur Rahaman (rice and flour miller), Sankar Addhya and others.

"The market value of these properties is estimated to be significantly more than Rs. 150 Crore," the official said.

As per the agency, these assets include 48 immoveable properties of different persons and entities including residential house in Salt Lake, Bolpur of Jyoti Priya Mallick, several other ‘Benami Properties’ held in the name of his close associates, two Hotels of Bakibur Rahaman each in Kolkata and Bengaluru and balances in various bank accounts and Fixed Deposits.

The official said that it was also found that Jyoti Priya Mallick has allegedly received various immovable properties worth more than crores of rupees as ‘Gift’ without any consideration in the name of his family members or close associates, which have been provisionally attached under PMLA.

Notably, the financial fraud probe agency initiated an investigation based on various FIRs registered by West Bengal Police, in which various private persons were found in unauthorized possession of Ration meant for delivery through PDS and also found to be involved in bogus procurement of paddy.

During PMLA investigations, three important modus operandi were detected for generation of Proceeds of Crime (PoC) related to PDS scam viz siphoning of PDS ration to open market, mixing of old wheat flour in fresh flour meant for PDS distribution and bogus paddy procurement at MSP.

The ED suspects that the proceeds of crime worth more than Rs 10,000 Crore were generated in the alleged PDS scam.

Pertinent to mention here that a charge sheet against Mallick, Rahaman (also a rice and flour miller) and a company, NPG Rice Mill, was filed by the agency before a Calcutta court in December last year.

During ED's investigation, it was also revealed that a huge amount of proceed of crime was laundered to Dubai and other countries by converting INR into foreign currencies through Full Fledged Money Changer Companies owned/controlled by Sankar Addhya, Biswajit Das and others.

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