The Enforcement Directorate questioned Trinamool Congress MP and actor Mithun Chakraborty in connection with the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam.
During the questioning, the actor assured the agency that he would soon return the amount given to him by the said firm.
Official sources said the TMC MP was questioned earlier this week at the fortified guest house of a central police organisation here where his statement was recorded under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
During the recording of statement, sources said, Chakraborty provided the agency sleuths with a number of DVDs, CDs and scripts that he had got as part of being the brand ambassador of the Saradha group. "The actor told the investigators that his association with the Saradha group was purely professional and that he had no intentions of cheating or duping anyone. He said he had no inkling about any sort of scam being perpetrated. The actor submitted all his personal and official records to the agency in this regard," the sources said.
The actor, during the about three-hour questioning, also told the investigators that he would deposit the amount of less than Rs 2 crore he had received to be finally restored to the depositors alleged to have been cheated in this scam.
The Rajya Sabha MP of the ruling party in West Bengal, as per information accessed by PTI, told the ED that he "actually acted in promotional videos and advertisements that were broadcast on television shows" made by the Saradha group and this was done as per his contract. He told investigators that if he had bad intentions, he would not have done the promotional activity and instead would have stashed the money.
Sources said Chakraborty after submitting the documents and recording his statement also talked to a top ED official in Kolkata "assuring all help in the future." "The agency is satisfied with the version that the actor has given and it well corroborates with the investigations done till now by sleuths in this case.It is expected that he would not be required to depose any further in his case," they said.
The central probe agency had in June last year questioned the actor in Mumbai after it detected that an amount of about Rs 2 crore had gone into his account from Saradha business portals.
The ED subsequently summoned him again early this year following which the latest questioning happened.
During his recording of statement last year, sources said, Chakraborty had told investigators that he had "no business dealings" with the now-defunct group headed by Sudipta Sen and that he would share all personal transaction details with them.
ED sources had earlier said Chakraborty was reportedly sent the said amount for being the brand ambassador of a media platform floated by the Saradha group, which has been accused of cheating numerous gullible investors.
The agency had registered a criminal case under PMLA in 2013 and has already questioned a number of people including sitting MPs and political leaders in this regard.
The agency, till now, has found that a maze of 338 bank accounts and 224 companies were used by the perpetrators of the ponzi scam which allegedly duped investors in various states including West Bengal, Odisha and Assam.
The Central Bureau of Investigation, probing the case on the directions of the Supreme Court, has also filed a chargesheet in a court in Kolkata.