NEW DELHI: Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday carried out searches at several locations, including the premises of Partha Chatterjee, the Minister of Commerce and Industry in the Bengal government. The financial probe agency made the searches in connection with its probe into recruitment scams in the West Bengal School Service Commission and West Bengal Primary Education Board.
During the searches, the ED also recovered cash to the tune of Rs 20 crores.
In a statement, the ED said that the agency searched the premises of Chatterjee, the Minister of Commerce & Industry, Parliamentary Affairs, Electronics & IT, Government of West Bengal and the Ex-Minister-in-charge of Education; Paresh C Adhikary, Minister of State for Education, Government of West Bengal; Manik Bhattacharya, MLA, and Ex-President of the West Bengal Board of Primary Education; Arpita Mukherjee, a close associate of Partha Chatterjee.
The ED also searched the premises of PK Bandopadhyay, OSD to the then MIC of Education, Sukanta Acharjee, PS to the then MIC of Education; Chandan Mondal @ Ranjan, Agent in selling jobs of teachers; Kalyanmay Bhattacharya, son-in-law of Partha Bhattacharya; Krishna C. Adhikary, Relative of Kalyanmay Bhattacharya; Dr SP Sinha, Advisor of the West Bengal Central School Service Commission – Convenor of the 5-member committee; Kalyanmoy Ganguly, Ex-President of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education; Saumitra Sarkar, Ex-President of the West Bengal Central School Service Commission; and Alok Kumar Sarkar, Deputy Director, School Education Department.
The ED said that during searches, the ED has recovered huge cash amounting to approximately Rs 20 crores from the residential premises of Arpita Mukherjee.
It said that the said amount is suspected to be proceeds of crime of said SSC Scam. The search team is taking the assistance of bank officials for the counting of cash through cash counting machines.
A total of more than 20 mobile phones have also been recovered from the premises of Arpita Mukherjee, the purpose and use of which are being ascertained.
The financial probe agency said that a number of other incriminating documents, records, details of dubious companies, electronic devices, foreign currency and gold have also been recovered from the various premises of the persons linked to the scam.
The development comes months after the Calcutta High Court directed the CBI to carry out a probe into the recruitment scam of Group ‘C’ and ‘D’ staff, Assistant Teachers of classes IX-XII and primary teachers.
In the case involving the illegal appointment of non-teaching staff, teaching staff, and teachers in primary school, the ED is investigating cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA).