Teachers' scam: ED pegs financial involvement at Rs 350 crore
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) team probing the multi- crore recruitment scam of teachers and non- teaching staff in West Bengal on Monday pegged the total financial involvement in the scam at Rs 350 crore as per the progress of the investigation so far.
"Previously, it was thought that total financial investment in the matter was just Rs 111 crore. But according to the progress of the investigation so far, it seems that the total financial involvement in the matter is about Rs 350 crore," the ED counsel told a special court of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) here during hearing on the bail petition of arrested Trinamool Congress leader Santanu Bandopadhyay.
The ED counsel further said that two mobile phones seized from the possession of Bandopadhyay are "simply goldmines".
"A number of influential persons are involved in the scam. Their names cannot be mentioned in the open court. But these influential persons have been named in the case diary which has been submitted at the count. You will be shocked to see those names," counsel told the court.
He also said that even Mount Everest will appear shorter compared to the extent of the scam. "A list of 300 candidates has been recovered from the residence of the accused Santanu Bandopadhyay. Of that list many are currently working as teachers in different state-run schools," the ED counsel argued and sought an extension of ED custody for the accused after 11 days.
Earlier in the afternoon while Bandopadhyay was brought to the court from ED office, he told media persons that arrested youth Trinamool Congress leader Kuntal Ghosh, who is currently in judicial custody, is the principal mastermind in the scam. "He is the main brain. He is trying to mislead everybody and, in the meantime, he is diverting the money he collected outside the state," said Bandopadhyay.
After hearing both sides the special court of PMLA court accepted the arguments of ED counsel and extended Bandopadhyay's ED custody till March 24.
( 348 Words)