Kolkata: Hours after arresting West Bengal minister Jyotipriya Mallick for his alleged involvement in the multi-crore ration scam, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday froze his bank accounts as well as those belonging to his wife and daughter, a senior officer said.
Mallick’s mobile phones were also seized and sent for forensic examination, he added.
“We have sent instructions to the bank authorities to freeze the accounts of the minister, his wife and daughter. We are also trying to find out if there are other bank accounts used by the minister or anybody in his family,” the officer told PTI.
During their searches, the ED officers also seized a few official rubber stamps of a few private companies.
ED’s initial probe also said Mallick’s wife and daughter were in directorial posts at three companies that were allegedly involved in ‘routing’ funds in the scam, he said.
ED officers while conducting raids and searches at the residence of one of Mallick’s close aides in neighbouring Howrah seized a diary “having details of the transactions made in this scam”, he added.
“Among other documents seized, we have got a diary containing several pages with names of Mr Mallick and details of some payments made to different individuals. We are probing them,” he said.
The initial probe also revealed the names of three companies from where Mallick was granted a huge amount of loan that was not ‘repaid’ by the minister.
The central probe agency has also unearthed documents and savings bank accounts belonging to people who have been working as helps at the minister’s residence, he added.
Not only banking accounts, ED officers also found documents related to several ‘bogus’ companies created to reroute funds and black money, he added.
“All these bogus companies and saving bank accounts were opened at a time when Mallick was the state food supplies minister. We believe that several such companies were opened and used in this scam,” the officer said.
Mallick was the food supplies minister from 2011 to 2021 after which was made the forest affairs and non-conventional and renewable energy minister.
Other than the minister, the ED has so far arrested a few people for their alleged involvement in the multi-crore scam.
(Published 27 October 2023, 15:33 IST)