In further embarrassment to the Mamata Banerjee-led government in West Bengal, Sudipta Sen, the arrested CMD of the Saradha Group, Tuesday claimed that he paid Rs 2 lakh per month to actor-turned Trinamool Congress MP Satabdi Roy to promote his company.
Sen’s statement comes a day after the Enforcement Directorate quizzed National Award winning filmmaker Aparna Sen, and state Textiles Minister Shyamapada Mukherjee in connection with the money laundering aspect of the multi-crore financial scam.
“I used to pay Rs 2 lakh to Satabdi Roy per month as she was the brand ambassador of my company,” Sen told reporters outside the Suri court premises where he was brought for a hearing in connection with one of the Saradha cases.]
Sources said Satabdi Roy was paid the monthly emolument for seven months and Rs 14 lakh was transferred into her account by Sen. Repeated calls on the cellphone of Roy, the Birbhum MP, went unanswered.
The ED has already questioned suspended and jailed TMC MP Kunal Ghosh and actor-turned TMC MP Mithun Chakraborty in connection with the case.
Sen further claimed that minister Shyamapada Mukherjee did not give correct statement to the ED sleuths. “I had given money to Mukherjee both in cash and through cheque. The amount was much higher than what he claimed,” Sen said.
During preliminary interrogation, Sen had told the ED sleuths that he had bought the Landmark Cement Factory from the Mukherjee for Rs 2.81 crore. However, talking to reporters after being questioned by the central probe agency sleuths in Kolkata on Monday, Mukherjee claimed that he had received only Rs 46 lakh for the cement factory in Bankura. He said he submitted the sale deed of the factory executed in 2009 and claimed that he “did not know Sudipta Sen then”. He added that Sen had paid Rs 2.73 crore for the factory and the remaining amount was used to clear bank liabilities.
Meanwhile, the ED sleuths on Tuesday surveyed a Saradha resort at Bolpur in Birbhum district to determine its value.