Around 297 acres of land, 150 apartments, four resorts, and over 50 imported cars — these are just some items in the list of assets and properties owned by Saradha Group chief Sudipta Sen that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached as part of the payment (through auctioning) to investors duped in the firm’s ponzi scam.
In the last three months, the investigating agency has already seized Sen’s property worth Rs 145 crore while it is in the process of acquiring another Rs 350 crore worth of assets. Once done, the total attached property (worth Rs 500 crore) would be presented before the court soon for direction, said a senior ED official.
Giving details of the attached properties, an official informed that (besides those listed above), the ED has also seized one cinema hall, a duplex bungalow, five commercial buildings, a boarding school in Siliguri, a cement factory in Bankura, a food factory in Tripura, and 510 vehicles which include 58 imported luxury cars.
According to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the agency has to submit the details of attached property to the adjudicatory authority in Delhi, the authority that confirms the attachment.
Once the authority confirms the attachment, the ED will keep the sealed properties in its possession until the PMLA court orders for their disposal. “If the court orders that the money of the depositors can be paid by auctioning these property, the ED will follow that,” a senior official added.
Sources added that the fleet of 510 vehicles of Sen include luxury cars, ambulances, SUVs, and other heavy vehicles like dumpers, trucks and lorries.
Sources in the agency said that such huge property could be unearthed following examination of at least 250 witnesses including five MPs of the ruling Trinamool Congress, a state Cabinet minister, a former Union minister and his wife, a former DG of armed police, at least a dozen businessmen, Sen’s wife and son, and other employees of Saradha.
There are several other properties in the state that the agency has identified, although the attachment process is yet to begin.