ED attaches various assets of book value of Rs 50.47 cr in ration scam in Bengal

Kolkata, Apr 12 (FN Agency) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached various assets of book value of Rs 50.47 crore allegedly acquired out of the Proceeds of Crime (PoC), derived and obtained from PDS Ration Scam by several persons, including arrested West Bengal food minister Jyoti Priya Mallick, Bakibur Rahaman (rice and flour miller), Sankar Addhya and others, ED said on Friday. “ The market value of these property is estimated to be significantly more than Rs 150 crore. These assets include 48 immovable property of different persons and entities including residential house in Salt Lake, Bolpur of Jyoti Priya Mallick, several other ‘Benami Property’ held in the name of his close associates, two hotels of Bakibur Rahaman each in Kolkata and Bengaluru and balances in various bank accounts and fixed deposits, “ the ED said in a statement.

The federal agency is probing the scam following a Calcutta High Court order also found that Mallick has allegedly received various immovable properties worth more than crores of rupees as ‘gift’ without any consideration in the name of his family members or close associates, which have been provisionally attached under PMLA, 2002. The ED initiated investigation on the basis of various FIRs registered by West Bengal Police, wherein various private persons were found in unauthorized possession of Ration meant for delivery through PDS and also found to be involved in bogus procurement of paddy, the ED said. “ During investigations, three important modus operandi were detected for generation of Proceeds of Crime (PoC) related to PDS scam viz siphoning of PDS ration to open market, mixing of old wheat flour in fresh flour meant for PDS distribution and bogus paddy procurement at MSP.

It is suspected that in the PDS scam PoC was worth more than Rs. 10,000 crore. In this case Bakibur Rahaman, Jyoti Priya Mallick, Sankar Addhya and Biswajit Das, arrested u/s 19 of PMLA, 2002 and all are at present in judicial custody. “ It is also revealed during the investigation that a huge amount of PoC was laundered to Dubai and other countries by converting rupees into foreign currencies through Full Fledged Money Changer Companies owned/controlled by Sankar Addhya, Biswajit Das and others, the ED said. “ In this regard Prosecution Complaint was filed before the Special Court (PMLA ), Kolkata on 12.12.2023 and a Supplementary Prosecution Complaint was filed on 05.03.2024. Cognizance of both the complaints has been taken by the Hon’ble Court. Further, prayer has been made vide above complaints for confiscation of properties acquired / obtained from Proceeds of Crime (PoC) which includes 101 immovable properties and balance in several bank accounts. Further investigation is under progress, the ED said.