Cattle smuggling: CBI suspects proceeds being invested in gold

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sleuths, probing the multi-crore cattle smuggling case in West Bengal, are working on some specific clues that a part of the proceeds of the crime were invested in gold.

CBI sources said that the owner of a jewellery shop in Bolpur town in Birbhum has already been questioned. This particular shop owner was a close confidant of Trinamool Congress strongman and the party’s Birbhum district President, Anubrata Mondal.

The investigating officials of the central agencies found that gold ornaments worth around Rs 3 crore that were used to decorate the idol of Goddess Kali at the residence of Mondal on the occasion of Kali Puja every year were mainly purchased from this particular shop.

At the same time, many of Mondal’s relatives and close associates were regular customers of this shop, which had created suspicions in the minds of the CBI sleuths that a major part of the proceeds of the cattle smuggling might have been invested in gold.

It is learnt that the CBI sleuths questioned the shop owner about the details of gold ornaments purchased by Mondal and his family members in the last five years. They have also sought the details of the purchase receipts on this count from him.

In the meantime, the CBI has tracked a fresh fixed deposit worth Rs 1 crore which is in the name of Mondal’s daughter Sukanya Mondal. This fixed deposit was in the Bolpur branch of public sector Indian Bank. Earlier, last month, the CBI had frozen some other fixed deposits worth Rs 16.97 crore held by Mondal, his deceased wife, daughter and some other close relatives.

At the same time, the CBI sleuths are regularly questioning different officials of the state Land and Land Revenue Department to find out the details of the land purchased by Mondal, his relative and close associates during the last five years.

“Already we have come across several plots of and in names of Mondal, his family members and relatives. Interestingly, the quoted purchase price of some plots of land at prime places adjacent to the National Highways are much lower than the actual market value of that land,” a CBI source said.

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