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Coal smuggling scam: CBI raids residence of Bengal Law Minister Moloy Ghatak

This comes as another blow for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as Moloy Ghatak is not only the PWD and Law Minister of West Bengal but a senior leader of the TMC.

West Bengal Minister Moloy Ghatak with Chief MInister Mamata Banerjee. (Photo: Moloy Ghatak | Facebook)

The CBI is conducting raids at the house of West Bengal Law Minister Moloy Ghatak in Asansol Wednesday in connection with his alleged involvement in a case of coal smuggling from a coalfield in the state.

Sources said six CBI officers from Kolkata went to Ghatak’s residence, where CRPF personnel have been deployed as well. The Central Bureau of Investigation is also conducting raids at seven other places across the state, including Asansol and Kolkata, they added.

This comes as another blow for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as Ghatak is not only the PWD and Law Minister of the state but a senior leader of the party. Ghatak has been already summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) multiple times for questioning.

Several TMC leaders, including the party’s national general secretary and Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee, are on the radar of the central agencies in connection with the coal smuggling scam. Abhishek Banerjee has been questioned by the ED several times in connection with its probe into the coal smuggling scam.

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In November 2020, the CBI registered a case in connection with the coal smuggling scam, alleging multi-crore coal pilferage in Eastern Coalfields mines in West Bengal’s Kunustoria and Kajora areas. The ED had then lodged a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, based on the November 2020 FIR registered by the CBI.

The ED filed its first charge sheet in the coal smuggling case at a special court in Delhi in August last year, naming TMC leader and businessman Vinay Mishra’s brother, Vikas, and former officer-in-charge of Bankura police station, Ashok Mishra, as prime accused. The charge sheet, however, did not mention the name of Abhishek Banerjee.

Eight Indian Police Service (IPS) officers posted in West Bengal were recently summoned to Delhi by the ED for questioning.

First published on: 07-09-2022 at 10:20:39 am
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