The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday registered a money laundering case in the Narada sting operation case allegedly involving Trinamool Congress leaders. The latest development comes a week after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) lodged an FIR against 12 TMC leaders, including Rajya Sabha MP Mukul Roy, Lok Sabha MPs Sultan Ahmed and Saugata Roy among others.
According to officials, the agency has lodged the case under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) based on a CBI FIR. They further said it will investigate into the ‘proceeds of crime’ generated in this case and that it would issue summonses to the accused for questioning soon.
The Narada sting tapes, released prior to the 2016 assembly elections in West Bengal, showed several senior TMC leaders allegedly receiving money in return for favours. Reacting to this, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had alleged political vendetta, accusing the CBI of acting at the behest of the Modi government to target its leaders.
Earlier this month, the CBI had questioned Narada News CEO Mathew Samuel regarding its probe into the sting operation. The Calcutta High Court had also directed the CBI to probe into the sting operation, ordering the agency to take possession of all material and devices related to the sting before concluding the preliminary inquiry in 72 hours.
In a related development, the Calcutta High Court has directed the CBI to continue its probe in the Narada sting case against Trinamool’s Aparupa Poddar, ANI reported. Poddar had moved the court seeking quashing of a CBI FIR against her in the case.