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West Bengal Coal Scam: CBI Team Arrives At TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee's Kolkata Residence

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team on Tuesday arrived at Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Abhishek Banerjee's residence in South Kolkata.

PTI/Republic


In a massive development, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team on Tuesday arrived at Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Abhishek Banerjee's residence in Kolkata. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Nephew, Abhishek has already departed for Tripura as he is scheduled to lead TMC's election campaign and partake in various roadshows ahead of the 2023 assembly polls.

However, it is not confirmed but as per the sources, the CBI team is likely to question the TMC MP's wife Rujira Banerjee in connection with the coal smuggling case. It is pertinent to mention that Abhishek Banerjee and his wife have been summoned by Enforcement Directorate (ED) multiple times in relation to the same case. 

Abhishek Banerjee 'potential accused' in West Bengal coal scam: ED tells SC

Earlier this month, Abhishek Banerjee was declared a ‘potential accused’ by the Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) told Supreme Court that Banerjee is a potential accused in the West Bengal coal scam case and that it needs to interrogate him in Delhi as it would be difficult to conduct an inquiry in Kolkata. However, the Supreme Court noted that it is open for the ED to require the attendance of the accused in its Kolkata office and issued a notice to Kolkata Police Commissioner Vineet Kumar Goyal to provide adequate security. 

However, Abhishek Banerjee, who is the national general secretary of the TMC, had skipped his scheduled appearances before the ED. For a fresh round of questioning, the ED asked the Supreme Court to allow Abhishek Banerjee's interrogation in Delhi. 

West Bengal coal mining scam

The alleged coal scam came under the spotlight on 27 November 2020, when CBI registered a case against several leaders of the Mamata Banerjee-led party, unknown officials of ECL, CISF, Railways and other departments and others under various sections of IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The ED took up the investigation later, and it was revealed that "large proceeds of crime" were generated and laundered due to illegal coal mining near railway areas. In February last year, the CBI was restricted from investigating the illegal mining and transportation of coal, after which the Calcutta High Court allowed the CBI to continue the probe. Anup Majhi alias Lala, who is a local coal operative, is alleged to be the prime suspect in this case. The ED had claimed that Abhishek Banerjee was a beneficiary of funds obtained from this illegal trade. 

According to a PTI report, around Rs 1,352 crore has been the tune of the total proceeds of the crime generated through the scam. In connection to the case, the ED has so far attached properties worth Rs 180 crore including land and flats situated in Kolkata, Mumbai, and Uttar Pradesh's Amethi.

As per the latest attachment order issued in November 2021, the ED had claimed that Vinay Mishra, Vikas Mishra, and Anup Majhi, all close associates of Abhishek Banerjee and accused in the illegal coal mining and money laundering case are 'beneficial' owners of the assets.

(Image: PTI/Republic)

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