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Partha Used To Take Arpita For Joyrides In High-end Cars, Have Parties: Investigators

West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee used to take Arpita Mukherjee for joyrides in high-end cars, have parties, as investigators probing the SSC scam.

Partha used to take Arpita for joyrides in high-end cars, have parties: Investigators

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Kolkata, Jul 30 (PTI) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has begun the process of freezing at least five bank accounts of Arpita Mukherjee, the associate of arrested West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee, where they have found at least Rs 2 crore, a senior official said on Saturday.

Other bank accounts, linked to several "shell companies" allegedly operated by Mukherjee, are also under the ED's scanner, he said.

"The process of freezing Mukherjee's five bank accounts has started. A total of around Rs 2 crore has been found in these accounts. We suspect these accounts were used to carry out several transactions and further probe is underway," the ED official said.

He said the agency was scanning the bank accounts linked to the "shell companies", refusing to divulge the amount of money parked there.

"We have sought the details of these accounts from the authorities concerned. After going through the accounts, we will decide our next course of action," he said.

The agency will continue grilling Mukherjee to know whether she has more bank accounts, the official said.

Chatterjee's bank accounts are also being checked, he said.

The investigators have also started a search for four high-end vehicles belonging to Mukherjee, which have been missing, he said.

"There were two cars  a Mercedes and a Mini Cooper  belonging to Mukherjee. These vehicles were used by the minister and his aide Mukherjee for joyrides. Inside these two vehicles, she used to have parties," he said.

Chatterjee used to follow her in another vehicle, and after a point, he used to get inside her vehicle for joyride, the official said.

All the vehicles were bought between 2016 to 2019, he claimed.

"One of the high-end cars was gifted by Chatterjee. He has also helped her in purchasing most of these high-end vehicles. We have spotted the Merc," the investigator said.

The investigators have also found that Chatterjee has allegedly booked two more vehicles, for which advance payments have already been made, he said.

"These two vehicles were booked for two shell companies and advance payments have been made. But before they were delivered, the duo was arrested," he alleged.

Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim said the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) has been asked to look into the alleged illegal building, linked to Chatterjee, in the Kasba area.

"I have directed the KMDA to check the papers related to this building. In case there is anything wrong, we will take over the building. We have that power," Hakim said.

Chatterjee, who was the education minister of the state, was arrested by the ED in the cash for school jobs scam.

Crores of rupees in cash were found at apartments of his aide, Mukherjee, besides gold believed to be in kilograms, documents of properties and foreign exchange were recovered by the ED, forcing the TMC to suspend him and take away his ministerial portfolios.

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