Extension to ED’s key official to maintain pace of probe in financial scams in Bengal

The Enforcement Directorate’s decision to extend the term of deputation for Sudesh Kumar Sheoran as the joint director of the agency’s Kolkata Zonal Office-II at Salt Lake in the northern outskirts of Kolkata is being perceived by the circles concerned as a step to maintain the pace of probe in various financial scams in the state.

ED sources said that Sheoran had been acting as the supervising officer in the three major financial embezzlement scams in West Bengal, namely West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment irregularities scam, cattle and coal smuggling.

In fact, source said, ED’s first major crackdown in the WBSSC scam by conducting simultaneous raids at the residence of former state education minister Partha Chatterjee and his close aide, Arpita Mukherjee, and the recovery of huge cash and gold from the two residences of the latter in July was totally planned and supervised by Sheoran. He also acted as the supervising officer in ED’s recovery of cash worth Rs 17.32 crore from the residence of Amir Khan, the principal accused in the mobile gaming app, E-Nuggets scam on September 10.

ED sources said that equally significant are the extension of terms of deputations for two additional directors, namely Sonia Narang and Yogesh Sharma, as both these officers had been supervising the progress of investigation for a level above Sheoran. Besides being the joint director for ED’s Kolkata Zonal OfficeII office, Sheoran is also in-charge of the three other offices of the agency, namely Bhubaneswar Zonal Office, Guwahati Zonal Office-I and Guwahati Zonal Office-II.

It is learnt that these three officers also played key roles in drafting the ED’s first charge sheet in the WBSSC scam that was filed by the agency at a court in Kolkata on September 19 this year. In the charge sheet, the ED had identified Partha Chatterjee as the mastermind in orchestrating the multi-crore scam.

All the three major financial embezzlement scams in West Bengal that the ED is probing on are currently at crucial stages and, hence it is important that these cases are handled by the same officials who had been overseeing the matter since the beginning, confirmed an ED official.

Besides the WBSSC scam, the ED sleuths are also at a crucial juncture of the coal smuggling scam where Trinamool Congress’ national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee, his wife Rujira Narula Banerjee, sister-in-law Maneka Gambhir and several top Indian Police Service (IPS) officers have been questioned by the central agency sleuths.

Sources said that with the major festival in West Bengal, Durga Puja being over, some renewed actions by the central agency sleuths are expected to start again.

20221005-110803

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