Saradha CMD Sudipta Sen’s son Subhojit Sen spent about Rs 60,000 daily — mostly on “escort services” — according to the investigation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) probing the money laundering case against Subhojit and Sudipta’s wife Piyali Sen. EC investigators also claimed they have traced 35 luxury cars, including five imported ones, used by Subhojit, who held the post of director in 17 companies of Saradha group.
In the past three years, Subhojit spent at least Rs 20 crore every year on escort services and buying and renting luxury cars, investigators said. Saradha group officials who looked after the finances are said to have told investigators that Sudipta had issued a “verbal sanction” to his accounts officials to give as much money to Subhojit as he wanted.
The EC has taken Piyali and Subhojit into custody and booked them under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). They were arrested from a house in Behala, where they were reportedly hiding under political patronage, together with silent police protection. While the ED booked the two, the Special Investigation Team set up by the West Bengal government felt they were not required for investigations.
Accounts belonging to the two were allegedly used for channel money collected from investors. Arnab Ghosh, DC, DD, Bidhannagar Commissionerate, the prime agency investigating the case under the state, said, “We did not need to arrest them as they were never part of the conspiracy. They were not significant in our investigation. We have recorded statements of both. We found they were only signing authorities.”
The ED, meanwhile, said they arrested Piyali and Subhojit since any attempt to launder money comes under PMLA. If the charges are established in court, the convicted person can be sentenced to imprisonment for three to seven years. Saradha group employees said they hardly ever saw Subhojit in office. “We used to go to the head office, but we never saw Subhojit during any official activity,” said Prabir Roy, an agent supervisor. It is learnt ED investigators found SMSes and contacts from Subhojit’s mobile phones, which revealed how he transferred money to get escorts and cars. After buying a luxury car, he would use it for a week and then transfer it to the company, investigators said.