While the government has appointed M Nageshwar Rao to take over “the duties and functions of Director, CBI”, records maintained by the Registrar of Companies (RoC) point to a series of financial transactions between Rao’s wife and Angela Mercantiles Private Ltd (AMPL), a Kolkata-based trading company, from financial years ending 2011 to 2014.
RoC records show that Rao’s wife, M Sandhya, borrowed Rs 25 lakh from AMPL in the financial year ending March 2011. They show that between financial years ending 2012 and 2014, Sandhya gave loans amounting to Rs 1.14 crore to AMPL in three tranches — Rs 35.56 lakh in FY’12, Rs 38.27 lakh in FY’13 and Rs 40.29 lakh in FY’14.
Kolkata-based Praween Agarwal, listed in RoC records as a director of AMPL, told The Indian Express over phone: “She (Sandhya) is the wife of our dear family friend (Rao). I know him (Rao) for a long time, when he was an officer in Odisha. They are like our family. What is wrong if you give loans or accept some investment from a person you know as your family friend?”
A CBI spokesperson declined to comment when contacted by The Indian Express with queries on the transactions recorded by the RoC between Rao’s wife and AMPL.
Rao, an Odisha-cadre IPS officer, took charge of the CBI on an interim basis last Tuesday night after Director Alok Verma was asked to go on leave along with the agency’s Special Director Rakesh Asthana following a bitter fallout between the two.
Rao was in the CRPF between 2008 and 2011. He returned to Odisha in 2012 before being posted at the Centre as CBI Joint Director in April 2016.
The Indian Express visited CA, 39 in Salt Lake, the registered office of AMPL, twice — on Friday and Saturday — where the security guard and the caretaker of the building confirmed that it housed the residence of Agarwal. ”There is no office here, this is a residential building,” the guard said on Friday. “The family is not here,” Alok Mondal, the caretaker, said on Saturday.