Bengali actor Rituparna Sengupta has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate in the Rose Valley chit fund case.
Sources have said that Sengupta is believed to be a part of a money laundering strategy where several films were produced under the Rose Valley banner but never went on the floor. She had even accompanied Gautam Kundu, the Rose Valley group chairman to several foreign trips and helped him in the sale of and production of several films, sources said.
On Tuesday, Bengali film superstar Prosenjit Chatterjee was summoned by the agency to appear before it on July 19 for questioning in connection with its money laundering probe into the Rose Valley ponzi scam case. The agency has speeded up its investigation into the case and has deputed a special team for the purpose. Sources said the actor he been asked to depose before the investigating officer of the case at its zonal office here for questioning, after which his statement will be recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Apart from acting, Prosenjit Chatterjee, the son of veteran actor Biswajit Chatterjee, has been a producer of a number of films. The agency wants to question Prosenjit Chatterjee about Rs 2.75 crore received by his company, Idea Locations and Production Pvt Ltd, from the Rose Valley group between 2010-11. Out of this, Chatterjee is suspected to have received about Rs 23.5 lakh and the central probe agency wants to understand the purpose of these funds, a source said. The ED has already grilled officials of the company and Chatterjee is expected to be confronted with their statements.
It had on Monday interrogated senior Trinamool Congress leader Madan Mitra for the first time in connection with the Rose Valley scam.
The agency, meanwhile, has set up a special team to take forward the probe in the case, look for assets that can be attached in the future and file prosecution complaints before the court, the source said.It had registered an FIR against the firm, its chairman Gautam Kundu and others in 2014 under the PMLA. Kundu was arrested by ED in Kolkata in 2015.
Multiple charge sheets have been filed in Kolkata and Bhubaneswar courts by the ED in this case. It has also attached assets worth Rs 4,200 crore in the case till now.The group had reportedly floated 27 companies to allegedly run the chit fund operations.
The ED has alleged that the scheme floated by the group promised investors in various states inflated returns between eight and 27 per cent.
The company had allegedly pledged astronomical returns to depositors on land and assets, and bookings done in the real estate sector. It has also been accused of making "cross investments" in its various sister firms to suppress its liabilities towards investors.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had probed the company before the ED and the CBI registered cases against the group. The ED has pegged the total volume of the alleged irregularities at Rs 15,000 crore, including interest and penalties.
(With PTI inputs)