Ponzi scam arrests not linked to TMC’s anti-note ban stand: CBI

Kolkata: CBI on Wednesday said the arrest of two TMC leaders in connection with the Rose Valley ponzi scam was not related to the party’s vehement opposition to demonetisation and was merely “co-incidental”.

“The probe into the Rose Valley scam had started in 2014. Collection of evidence in this huge scam requires considerable amount of time and was started long before the demonetisation decision came in November,” a senior CBI official told PTI.

“The time of arrest of the two MPs post demonetisation is nothing but a coincidence,” he said.

TMC Lok Sabha MPs Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Tapas Paul were arrested by CBI based on complaints filed in Bhubaneswar in connection with the Rose Valley scam and the two are now in custody.

Without naming anyone, he said several big politicians of both the ruling Trinamool Congress and Opposition were on the radar of CBI.

“We will interrogate all those who were associated with the Rose Valley Group or were financially benefited from it,” the CBI official said.

The official said the money involved in the scam was nearly Rs 17,000 crore, more than five times that in the Saradha chit fund scam.

Comparing the probes into the Saradha and Rose Valley scams, he said it was easier to proceed with the latter as all documents were available and there were practically no missing links.

Asked about the alleged involvement of a renowned actress in the scam, he said no evidence against her have surfaced so far.