‘In 3 years, shell firms linked to ex WB minister Partha, his kin, Arpita had deals worth Rs 500 crore’

Express News Service

KOLKATA: The sleuths of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) probing the alleged recruitment scam in West Bengal schools on Sunday said they have detected transactions of over Rs 500 crore done during 2016-2019 in several bank accounts linked to arrested former minister Partha Chatterjee and his aide, Arpita Mukherjee.

Sources said the ED found suspicious transactions of Rs 1.5 crore carried out days before Chatterjee and Arpita were arrested last month.

According to sources, the investigators also came across the names of Chatterjee’s wife Babli and daughter Sohini and son-in-law Kalyanmoy Bhattacharya in suspicious business deals.

Accounts of suspected shell companies were used for the transactions of huge amounts, officials said.

“The transactions were made in the accounts of shell companies, such as Apa Utility Services, Ananta Texfab Pvt Ltd, four real estate firms and two trustees. Ananta Texfab is registered in the address of one of Arpita’s flats, which is Flat No. 8A, Block-5, Club Town Heights, Belgharia, from where Rs 27.9 crore cash was seized recently. But the firm has no office set-up and employees,’’ said an ED official.

The agency came across another company named Viewmore Highrise Pvt Ltd, which is also registered in the same address in Belgharia. Sources said during the lockdown, transactions were made using five bank accounts.

“Every day, the transaction volume was Rs 20-30 lakh. In the balance sheet, transactions were shown as part of business deals which seem suspicious,’’ said another official.    

Ananta Texfab filed its financial statements till March 31, 2021. The ED has asked Sohini and Kalyanmoy, who are in the United States, to come to Kolkata for the probe.

“The two were once major stakeholders of the company and later exited by selling their shares to Arpita,’’ said an officer.

The name of Babli, who died recently, has also emerged. “The statutory filing with the corporate affairs ministry shows that in March 2014, Babli held a 15 per cent share in Ananta Texfab while Sohini and Kalyanmoy held 75 per cent and 10 per cent shares, respectively. In March 2017, Babli sold her shares to Echhay Entertainment, which has Arpita as a director. On the same day, Sohini and Kalyanmoy sold their shares directly to Arpita,’’ said an official. 

KOLKATA: The sleuths of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) probing the alleged recruitment scam in West Bengal schools on Sunday said they have detected transactions of over Rs 500 crore done during 2016-2019 in several bank accounts linked to arrested former minister Partha Chatterjee and his aide, Arpita Mukherjee.

Sources said the ED found suspicious transactions of Rs 1.5 crore carried out days before Chatterjee and Arpita were arrested last month.

According to sources, the investigators also came across the names of Chatterjee’s wife Babli and daughter Sohini and son-in-law Kalyanmoy Bhattacharya in suspicious business deals.

Accounts of suspected shell companies were used for the transactions of huge amounts, officials said.

“The transactions were made in the accounts of shell companies, such as Apa Utility Services, Ananta Texfab Pvt Ltd, four real estate firms and two trustees. Ananta Texfab is registered in the address of one of Arpita’s flats, which is Flat No. 8A, Block-5, Club Town Heights, Belgharia, from where Rs 27.9 crore cash was seized recently. But the firm has no office set-up and employees,’’ said an ED official.

The agency came across another company named Viewmore Highrise Pvt Ltd, which is also registered in the same address in Belgharia. Sources said during the lockdown, transactions were made using five bank accounts.

“Every day, the transaction volume was Rs 20-30 lakh. In the balance sheet, transactions were shown as part of business deals which seem suspicious,’’ said another official.    

Ananta Texfab filed its financial statements till March 31, 2021. The ED has asked Sohini and Kalyanmoy, who are in the United States, to come to Kolkata for the probe.

“The two were once major stakeholders of the company and later exited by selling their shares to Arpita,’’ said an officer.

The name of Babli, who died recently, has also emerged. “The statutory filing with the corporate affairs ministry shows that in March 2014, Babli held a 15 per cent share in Ananta Texfab while Sohini and Kalyanmoy held 75 per cent and 10 per cent shares, respectively. In March 2017, Babli sold her shares to Echhay Entertainment, which has Arpita as a director. On the same day, Sohini and Kalyanmoy sold their shares directly to Arpita,’’ said an official.