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CBI arrests veteran journalist Suman Chattopadhyay in Bengal chit fund scam

It is alleged that Chattopadhyay, editor of leading Bengali daily Ei Samay, has taken money from some of the chit fund owners

West Bengal  |  India  |  Matang Sinh

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

money, mudra scheme, bribe

After repeated questioning by enforcement agencies for four years, the CBI Thursday arrested Suman Chattopadhyay, editor of of a leading Bengali daily, in connection with West Bengal's ICore chit fund scam, officials said here.

Chattopadhyay, editor of Ei Samay, was summoned to the CBI office in Kolkata after several rounds of questioning and was placed under arrest by officials, they said.

The scribe, who is also a director in Disha Productions and Media Private Limited (DPMPL), was questioned in an on-going investigation of a case registered against the ICore Group, a ponzi scheme company.

Investigation has revealed that funds collected illegally by the ICore Group were allegedly diverted in the accounts of DPMPL as well as the personal account of Chattopadhyay.

The arrested scribe will be produced Friday before the Court of Special CJM in Bhubaneswar.

It is alleged that he had allegedly taken "unsecured loans" from three "chit fund companies", including Saradha Group, and laundered it through two of his publishing companies, a Bengali daily and a Bengali magazine.

After the arrest of Rose Valley chairman Gautam Kundu in 2015, the Police had arrested managing director of ICore group Anukul Maiti for allegedly running Ponzi schemes.

The journalist has been earlier grilled by the CBI as well as the Enforcement Directorate along with his wife Kasturi in connection with the Saradha financial scam.

The allegation against him was that after taking a loan of Rs 50 million from Saradha Group of companies, he borrowed money from two other chit fund groups to return the money.

He has been booked for alleged money laundering and round tripping of funds which entails creating bogus companies and routing illegal money using multiple transactions across Indian shores.

The agency has alleged that ICore group which had allegedly raised over Rs 30 billion from people offering high returns on investments had diverted a portion of these funds through the company of Chattopadhyay who is a senior journalist in West Bengal, they said.

The agency has taken over probe in the matter ICore group in 2014 registering an FIR under IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy and cheating.

The case was registered on the basis of a Supreme Court order in 2014 directing the agency to take over all the cases related to chit fund companies probed by the state police.

Its directors Anukul Maity and his wife Kanika were arrested by the agency last year.

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First Published: Thu, December 20 2018. 18:25 IST