Published On: Mon, Jan 8th, 2024

PDS scam in West Bengal is of ‘colossal magnitude’, to be around Rs 10,000 cr: ED

Kolkata: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday made startling revelations, saying that the magnitude of the alleged Public Distribution System (PDS) scam in West Bengal is enormous and its investigation points to a massive scale of corruption.

This incident marked the second attack on the agency

The central agency while claiming that the investigation carried out so far has unveiled the colossal magnitude of the scam said that the proceeds of crime transferred by a suspect are likely to be between Rs 9,000 – 10,000 Crore. Notably, a substantial amount, around Rs 2,000 Crore, is suspected to have been illicitly transferred to Dubai, either directly or through Bangladesh, the agency added.

“The investigation carried out so far indicates that the magnitude of the scam is enormous, and the proceeds of crime received and further transferred and layered by one suspected person itself are suspected to be at least to the tune of Rs 9,000 – 10,000 Crore and out of that, Rs 2000 Crore were also suspected to be transferred to Dubai either directly or through Bangladesh,” the agency said according to ANI.

Shankar Adhya, a prominent leader of the Trinamool Congress (TMC), who is at the centre of the alleged multi-crore scam in West Bengal, has been remanded to Enforcement Directorate custody for 14 days. He was arrested by the agency following ED searches at properties linked to him and his family members.

During the court hearing, the ED asserted that the ration distribution scam involved widespread corruption amounting to at least Rs 10,000 crore. Shockingly, the probe agency revealed that a significant portion of this sum, nearly Rs 2,000 crore, was siphoned off to Dubai through Adhya’s company.

The Enforcement Directorate disclosed that Shankar Adhya’s involvement surfaced through a letter from the arrested former Food Minister, Jyotipriya Mallick, who is also implicated in the ration corruption case.

In response to queries from the court, the ED unveiled that as many as 90 foreign exchange firms connected to Adhya had been identified. Approximately Rs 2,000 crore was allegedly exchanged and sent abroad through these firms, primarily situated in border areas.

The ED raised concerns in court about the potential misuse of these funds, questioning the likelihood of “anti-national activities.”

Following the arrest of Shankar Adhya, his supporters reportedly attempted to obstruct ED officials from taking him into custody. The situation escalated as supporters, led by women, tried to impede the officers, even resorting to stone-throwing. The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel accompanying the ED officials intervened to bring the situation under control.

This incident marked the second attack on the agency, reminiscent of the one in Sandeshkhali in the neighbouring South 24 Parganas district during a raid at the residence of TMC leader Sahajahan Sheikh in the same case.

The challenges faced by the ED highlight the gravity of the allegations and the tense atmosphere surrounding the unfolding investigation.

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