Cattle scam: How Mondal family gained through purchase, sale of properties

The CBI, in its fresh charge sheet on multi-crore cattle smuggling scam in West Bengal, has given details on how Trinamool Congress strongman Anubrata Mondal and his family gained by purchasing properties for less than its actual price and subsequently selling a portion of it at market value.

In the charge sheet submitted on October 7, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) mentioned two separate lists, the first on properties purchased by the Mondal family between 2013 and 2022 and the second on the properties sold between 2015 and 2021.

In the first list, CBI officials have referred to a year-wise property purchased between 2013 and 2022, whose total value (deed value plus stamp duty) has been mentioned at around Rs 6.50 crore (Rs 6,49,56,315).

They have mentioned that the purchase value was Rs 3 crore lesser than the prevailing market value of around Rs 9.71 core (Rs 9,71,71, 042). The mentioned amount excludes the registration charge and properties purchased by ANM Agrochem Private Limited, where Anubrata Mondal’s daughter Sukanya Mondal is one of the two directors.

In the second list, the CBI has referred to a year-wise property sold between 2015 and 2021, whose total value (deed value plus stamp duty) has been mentioned at around Rs 2.19 crore (Rs 2,19,37,953). Incidentally, in the second list the market value of property sold had been the same at Rs 2,19,37,953.

“So, as you can see, the members of the family gained twice. The first is through purchase of property at prices lower than the market value and the second is through sale of the proportion of the property at the prevailing market values. How it was done is anybody’s guess now,” a CBI official said.

CBI sleuths, in the chargesheet, have also referred to the bank account held by Biswajit Bandopadhyay, an attendant employed by the Mondal family in 2011, at the branch of a public sector bank at Bolpur. As per the chargesheet an hefty amount of Rs 1.08 crore (Rs 1,08,50,949) was transferred in phases in forms of cash deposits and e-transfers to that account.

Though currently a councilor of Ward number 19 of Bolpur Municipality, in his affidavit Biswajit Bandopadhyay has mentioned that the wage earned by him working as an attendant for Mondal family as his only source of income. When in 2011 he was employed as an attendant, his monthly wage was fixed at Rs 5,000 which over the years increased to Rs 20,000 as of now.

In the charge sheet, the central agency has also referred to a statement given by Biswajit Bandopadhyay to their sleuths where he said that although he was officially holding the said bank account, the transactions were entirely controlled by Anubrata Mondal.

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