The CBI Wednesday arrested a top East Bengal Football Club official, Debabrata Sarkar alias Neetu, in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam. Sarkar was arrested after a marathon interrogation at the CBI’s Salt Lake office in Kolkata. This was his third appearance before the agency.
A senior CBI official said Sarkar is accused of trying to “establish an illegal nexus between SEBI officers and Saradha CMD Sudipta Sen”.
“We have enough evidence and documents indicating that Sarkar took bribes of several crores from Sen to manage SEBI that was threatening the Saradha Group with action for its illegal operations,” he said.
Sarkar is learnt to have named a few officers of the market watchdog. The CBI sources said, “Now some SEBI officers are under the scanner and could be examined soon.”
Sarkar has been booked under various charges, including criminal conspiracy and money laundering. He will be produced before a court Thursday.
Earlier, the CBI had raided Sarkar’s residence on August 14 during which several incriminating documents, including a fixed deposit of Rs 25 lakh, were reportedly recovered. Sarkar could not explain the source of the money, added the sources.
They claimed that Sarkar had in the past three years taken several crores from Sudipta Sen and the central agency is now verifying and estimating the same.
Sen, in his first “tell-all” letter to the CBI in April 201, had said he had paid Sarkar to help cover up the probe being carried out by SEBI.
The ED earlier this week quizzed noted filmmaker Aparna Sen and senior Trinamool leader and state Textile Minister Shyamapada Mukherjee.
Suspended Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha member Kunal Ghosh is behind bars in connection with the scam.