The Enforcement Directorate (ED) probing the multi-crore cattle-smuggling scam in West Bengal is now focusing on tracking the properties and assets owned by Trinamool Congress strongman Anubrata Mondal, the prime accused in the case, and his family members outside the state.
Mondal is currently under judicial custody, and the ED has already made an appeal to take him to Delhi for questioning, a matter which is pending before the Delhi High Court.
ED sources said that on the basis of checking the books of accounts of Mondal and his family members as well as through interrogations of some of his close associates, the central agency has come to learn that besides making huge investments in land and property in West Bengal, Mondal also made similar investments in properties outside the state, especially in Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.
“While some information has been received about his investments in land and residential flats in Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh, Mondal also reportedly invested money through hawala routes in stone quarry businesses in Jharkhand and Bihar. Our sleuths are in talks with the concerned state government departments to obtain more information on this count,” an ED official said.
The official also said that the central agency is also trying to find out whether the cattle smugglers in these neighbouring states had some role to play in facilitating Mondal’s investments there.
On December 6, ED had informed that it has attached 32 properties worth around Rs 1.58 crore belonging to Mondal’s bodyguard Sehgal Hossain and his family members, another prime suspect in the cattle smuggling case.