The ED on Friday said it has found “beneficiaries” such as Nalini Chidambaram, wife of former Union finance minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram, former CPI(M) MLA Debendranath Biswas and a company owned by former Assam minister late Anjan Dutta in the Saradha money laundering case. ”s assets worth more than six crore rupees have been attached.
The central agency said in a statement that a provisional order for attachment of movable assets worth Rs 3.30 crore and immovable assets worth Rs 3 crore has been issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The ED had earlier said that Nalini Chidambaram’s role in the case was related to payment of legal fees of Rs 1.26 crore allegedly by the Saradha Group for her appearances in court and the Company Law Board in a television channel purchase deal. . Dutta was considered a close confidante of late Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi and was a minister in his cabinet. Dutta was in charge of several departments including transport.
He was appointed the President of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee in December 2014 and held the position till his death in 2016. The money laundering case pertains to an alleged chit fund scam by the Saradha Group in West Bengal, Assam and Odisha till 2013. The group is accused of defrauding thousands of depositors by promising abnormally high returns on investment in its illegal schemes.
The ED had registered a criminal case against the group and its promoters in 2013 after studying a Kolkata Police FIR. “The total amount of money raised by this group company is around Rs 2,459 crore, of which depositors are owed around Rs 1,983 crore so far, excluding interest amount,” the ED said. The Enforcement Directorate has so far attached assets worth about Rs 600 crore in this case.