ED secures clues linking ration scam proceeds with Shahjahan’s fish export business

Kolkata, March 15 (IANS) The central agencies investigating the multi-crore ration distribution case in West Bengal have secured crucial clues that will link the two aspects of the alleged scam, namely the investment of the scam proceeds in the fish export business owned by now-suspended Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan, and the subsequent diversion of the funds abroad using the hawala route.

During the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) raids in Sandeshkhali on Thursday, which is the hub of Shahjahan’s first export business, the agency seized several incriminating documents.

Sources said following scrutiny of the documents, the ED has joined the dots as to how crores of unaccounted proceeds of the ration distribution case were first invested in the fish export business of Shahjahan, and then shifted abroad through the hawala route, mainly in Dubai and Bangladesh.

Sources said the fish export business was the second channel where the hawala route was adopted to divert crime proceeds abroad.

The same hawala channel was adopted when crores of scam proceeds were first converted into foreign currencies through multiple entities dealing in forex and then diverted abroad through the hawala route.

In the first case, the operator was Shahjahan, while in the second case, the handler was another arrested Trinamool Congress leader Shankar Adhya.

With both Shahjahan and Adhya being close confidants of former Food & Supplies Minister Jyotipriyo Mallick, who is also in judicial custody in connection with the ration distribution case, the ED is pretty sure that it was Mallick who assigned them different routes for funds diversion.



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