CBI arrests TMC leader in West Bengal in chit fund case

CBI has arrested Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Raju Sahani, who is the municipal chairman of Halisahar near Kolkata, in connection with a chit fund case related to Sunmarg Welfare Organisation (SWO), officials said on Friday.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has recovered Rs 80 lakh in cash and a country-made firearm during searches, they added.

The CBI has found an alleged transfer of Rs 20 lakh from the accounts of a company related to the SWO trust to Grassroots Global Finance, a firm owned by Sahani, in 2012, the officials said.

It is also alleged that Sahani, the son of a CPI(M) leader, had given shelter to absconding SWO chairman Soumyarup Bhowmik in 2018-19 on his property, knowingly that the latter was on the run, in return for protection money.

The CBI probe has found that Sahani got a bank account opened for Bhowmik to facilitate the money coming from the sale of the trust’s properties.

It is also alleged that Rs 75 lakh were transferred by Bhowmik to Sahani in 2018-19.

The CBI said it has found transactions worth over Rs 1.5 crore between Bhowmik and Sahani.

In addition to the cash and the firearm, the federal probe agency has also found documents worth Rs 2.75 crore, three properties in West Bengal and foreign accounts during searches at Sahani’s premises, the officials said.

The CBI had registered the case on October 30, 2018 on the Supreme Court’s orders against Bhowmik, who is still absconding, and his accomplices Chandra Shekar Sabat, Brajo Gopal Dutta, Tufan Paul and Surajit Sarkar, the officials said.