ED launches hunt for cash-filled cars linked to Partha Chatterjee
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has launched a hunt for four cars owned by Arpita Mukherjee, an actor linked to sacked Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee. According to NDTV, the cars— an Audi A4, a Honda City, a Honda CRV, and a Mercedes Benz — are stuffed with cash. During Mukherjee's arrest, the ED confiscated one white Mercedes and an approximately Rs. 50 crore cash.
- Chatterjee, a senior TMC leader and former West Bengal Commerce and Industries Minister, is the latest in a long line of opposition leaders apprehended by the ED.
- His detention was earlier condemned by the TMC as a "ploy" to "harass" political opponents.
- The BJP, on the other hand, claimed that the TMC had "sponsored large-scale irregularities" in the selection of teachers at all levels.
As per the NDTV report, the investigation agency is searching for the cars by examining CCTV video and performing various raids. Arpita Mukherjee, a 30-year-old model-turned-actress and Instagrammer, owns multiple properties for which the ED has discovered sale documents. Mukherjee was detained in connection with a school job fraud in which the Trinamool Congress leader Partha Chatterjee is the main suspect.
Mukherjee has two properties in Clubtown Heights in a Kolkata suburb, according to ED authorities, and it seized around Rs. 30 crore in cash and 5 kg of gold jewelry during a search on one of these houses on Thursday. On Friday, ED found Rs. 21 crore in cash, Rs. 2 crore worth gold bars, and a large sum of foreign exchange from another flat.
As per reports, both accused were arrested on July 23 after the ED found Rs. 21 crore in cash from Mukherjee's Tollygunge residence. The ED collected additional Rs. 29 crore from her second residence during an 18-hour operation on Wednesday. Mukherjee allegedly informed the ED that her home was utilized as a "mini-bank." Both accused will be held in jail until August 3.
Chatterjee, previously close to Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee brought huge embarrassment to her. On Thursday, he was dismissed as a minister and removed from all Trinamool Congress roles following the corruption charges mounting against him. The former state Education Minister is accused of accepting bribes to hire teachers and other employees at state-run institutions.