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Saradha probe: TMC’s Sankudeb Pondar deposes before ED

Trinamool Congress leader Sankudeb Ponda was today questioned by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the money laundering probe in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam case.

Ponda, who was asked to present himself before the investigating officer of the case tomorrow, reported today at around 11am to record his statement and answer ED queries.

“Ponda is being questioned. His statement will be recorded under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the Saradha ponzi case probe,” official sources in the agency said.

The agency had recently issued summons and asked Ponda, who is TMC General Secretary and former president of its youth wing, to depose before its investigators.

The ED has already questioned West Bengal Minister Shyamapada Mukherjee and TMC MPs Mohammad Hasan Imran, Mithun Chakraborty and arrested MP Kunal Ghosh.

Ponda, who has earlier been the President of TMC’s youth wing in West Bengal, had told PTI earlier that he would “cooperate with the agency and its probe in the case with all earnest.”

Officials said Ponda’s version is required in this case as his name had figured as an employee in at least four firms that were conducting financial transactions with the now defunct Saradha group of companies.

“In one instance, Ponda received about Rs.14-15 lakh from the account of the prime accused in the case and Saradha chairman Sudipta Sen.The agency wants to understand his business association with Saradha and others,” sources had said.

They said the agency has been asked to submit records of his financial transactions and income in the last over five years.

Ponda’s name, the sources claimed, has also been traced by investigators as a financial “beneficiary” in some companies owned by TMC MP Srinjoy Bose, who was last month arrested by the CBI in the same case.

The Saradha scam case is being probed by multiple central agencies including the ED, CBI and the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO) under the Corporate Affairs Ministry.

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