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New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday, September 20 said it has attached assets worth Rs 48.22 crore “beneficially owned” by former minister Partha Chatterjee and his alleged associate Arpita Mukherjee as part of a money laundering probe into the West Bengal teachers’ recruitment ‘scam’.
The federal agency also filed its first charge-sheet in the case before a special court in Kolkata in which it named the duo and six companies as accused.
The attached properties include 40 immovable assets such as a farmhouse, flats and “prime land” located in Kolkata worth a total of Rs 40.33 crore, apart from Rs 7.89 crore worth deposits kept in 35 bank accounts, the federal agency said in a statement.
“The attached properties are found to be beneficially owned by Partha Chatterjee and Arpita Mukherjee,” it said.
According to the agency, several of the attached properties were registered in the name of shell companies and people acting as “proxies” for Chatterjee.
The former minister in the Trinamool Congress-led government in West Bengal and his “close associate” were arrested by the ED in July.
At present, Chatterjee is in the custody of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for questioning in connection with the alleged scam while Mukherjee is lodged in jail.
Chatterjee was relieved of his ministerial duties by the Mamata Banerjee government after his arrest, while the TMC, too, removed him from the posts he held in the party, including that of the secretary general.
The agency had seized Rs 49.80 crore in cash, gold and other jewellery, totalling more than Rs 55 crore after it conducted raids in this case in Kolkata and other parts of West Bengal.
The ED case of money laundering in the school service commission (SSC) recruitment ‘scam’ stems from a CBI FIR. The agency was directed by the Calcutta high court to carry out investigations into alleged irregularities in the hiring of group ‘C’ and ‘D’ staff, assistant teachers of classes 9-12 and primary teachers.