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Derek O'Brien questioned by CBI in Saradha case

August 09, 2019 20:14 IST

Trinamool Congress MP Derek O' Brien was questioned by CBI in the Saradha ponzi scheme case on Friday, sources in the probe agency said.

The quizmaster-turned-parliamentarian was interrogated for about two hours on some financial transactions in bank accounts related to the TMC mouthpiece 'Jago Bangla', they said.

O'Brien is the publisher of the mouthpiece which appears in Bengali.

He is the second TMC MP to be quizzed by a central agency in the chit fund scam in two days.

 

On Thursday Satabdi Roy, a TMC MP was questioned by Enforcement Directorate in the chit fund scam.

Former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, who had faced questioning in the Saradha chit fund scam, had also been summoned by CBI on Thursday in the Rose Valley scam.

O'Brien arrived at the CBI office around 1.30 pm and left around 3.30 pm.

He was summoned by the investigating agency on July 26 to join the investigation in the multi-crore chit fund scam and was asked to appear before the investigating team in the first week of August.

But O'Brien had sought time as the Parliament was in session at the time and had said he would appear before the investigating agency after the session ends on August 7.

"As the Parliament session is over so he has gone to the CGO complex in the city for questioning. He has fully cooperated with the investigating agency," a senior TMC
leader said.

"We have done no wrong, we have nothing to worry about," he said.

The agency is investigating links of arrested Bengali film producer Shrikant Mohta to the promoters of Rose Valley, a company accused in the scam.

Mohta had allegedly cut a deal of Rs 25 crore with the promoters of Rose Valley and a portion of this money is suspected to have been diverted to the 'Jago Bangla' account.

According to sources, CBI had also questioned O'Brien regarding the sale of several paintings of Mamata Banerjee which were purchased by owners of several ponzi scheme companies allegedly at a huge price, the officials said.

Several such paintings worth lakhs of rupees have been seized by the agency, they said.

The TMC had strongly rejected the allegations as "baseless and politically motivated".

The agency has already questioned party general secretary Subrata Bakshi in connection with the case.

The Supreme Court had ordered a probe into the multi-crore rupees Saradha scam and transferred the case to CBI in 2014.

Thousands of investors were left in the lurch by the scam and it led to the arrest of many leaders, MPs and ministers of the TMC. All of them are now out on bail.

Saradha group founder Sudipta Sen and his associate Debjani Mukherjee were arrested from Kashmir in 2013 and are in custody. 

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