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Saradha scam: CBI arrests East Bengal official

Posted on Aug 20 2014 | IANS

Kolkata, Aug 20 : The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Wednesday arrested East Bengal Football Club's senior official Debabrata Sarkar in connection with the multi-crore-rupee Saradha chit fund scam.

"Sarkar has been arrested in connection with the scam. He will be presented before a court Thursday," a CBI spokesperson said.

Accused by scam mastermind Sudipta Sen of extorting money, Sarkar has been grilled multiple times by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate, which too is probing the scam. The CBI also raided Sarkar's residence Aug 14 and seized several documents.

Meanwhile, East Bengal officials have called an emergency meeting to decide the future course of action.

"An emergency meeting of the executive committee has been called Friday where we will discuss the matter and decide the next course of action," club's assistant general secretary Shanti Ranjan Dasgupta told IANS.

In his April 2013 letter to the CBI, Sen had alleged that he had paid money to Sarkar and his accomplices since 2010 to cover up a probe then being conducted by market regulator SEBI.

"Sarkar alias Nitu who is the de-facto secretary of the East Bengal club, had assured me that he will cover up the SEBI matter through his connections if I fulfill his financial demands," Sen had said in the letter claiming Sarkar had flaunted his powerful connections including a very high government functionary to get his company off the hook.

Sen, who had named several high profile personalities in his tell-all letter, claimed that Sarkar and his cronies took away Rs.40 crore from him.

"In 2010 he (Sarkar) took Rs.5 crore and thereafter Rs.80 lakh or more every month. In total Nitu and several others took Rs.40 crore in the last three years," Sen said in the letter.

Besides Sen and several of his close aides, suspended Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha member Kunal Ghosh is behind bars in connection with the scam which is back in the political limelight after the Supreme Court in May ordered the CBI to take over the probe.

The ED earlier in week quizzed noted filmmaker Aparna Sen and senior Trinamool leader and state textile minister Shyamapada Mukherjee. Sen was quizzed about her role as the editor of a magazine published by the group, Mukherjee was grilled about a business transaction he made with Sen in 2009.

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