ED officer suspended, quizzed after being spotted at hotel with arrested Rose Valley CEO's wife
Enforcement Directorate official Manoj Kumar was on Thursday interrogated by a team of his own agency for his alleged association with the estranged wife of Rose Valley CEO Gautam Kundu.
Kumar, ED’s nodal investigation officer in the Rose Valley ponzi scam case, was allegedly spotted with Subhra Kundu at the Kolkata airport and later checking into a Delhi hotel, according to CCTV footage accessed by Kolkata Police, media reports said.
Subhra’s husband Gautam Kundu is the main accused in the chit fund scam.
Taking congnisance of the reports, the ED said it has ordered a probe into the incident and "strict disciplinary action" would follow if the charges are proved true.
ED sources said a three-member team from Delhi interrogated Kumar on the purported CCTV grabs.
The ED had suspended Kumar and stripped him of his involvement from all cases he was investigating. He was on deputation to ED from customs and central excise.
Kumar has been maintaining that he was a victim of a conspiracy and was ready to face all interrogations.
Meanwhile, CBI has sought clarifications from Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) on how the civic body could issue trade licenses to another ponzi firm, Saradha Group, to carry out the illegal business, sources in the investigating agency
Both Gautam Kundu and Saradha Group chief Sudipto Sen are now in judicial custody.
The Rose Valley chit fund scam is one of the most high profile cases under investigations with two Trinamool Congress MPs Tapas Pal and Sudip Bandyopadhyay under suspicion for their roles.
The arrest of two MPs last year had sparked a political battle between the TMC, which rules West Bengal, and BJP, which heads the NDA at the Centre.
Even the suspension of Manoj Kumar has turned political with West Bengal BJP coming in his support and describing him as "very efficient".
"He is a very efficient officer. He has recovered Rs 850 crore chit fund money. CCTV footage has shown that he had gone to a hotel and stayed there. But he said that he has kept relations with the woman in the interests of investigation," West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh today said.
"His department is investigating it. Everything will be revealed in course of time. I don't think what we are seeing is correct," the BJP leader said.
Kolkata Police, which unearthed the footage showing Kumar with Shubhra, has summoned the suspended ED official for questioning in a money laundering case.
Shubhra,was today also questioned for the second time by sleuths of Kolkata police in connection with the money laundering case and her alleged relationship with Kumar.
"Manoj Kumar has been summoned for questioning tomorrow. Today we had also questioned Suvra Kundu for second time. We have got some leads in the case," a senior Kolkata Police officer said.