Money trail leads to hawala channels, offshore accounts
The Enforcement Directorate, which is probing the money laundering aspect of the multi-crore Saradha scam, has for the first time found evidence of the money being parked in offshore accounts.
The ED sleuths, sources said, have found that Santanu Ghosh, chairman of Xenitis Group and an accused in the scam, allegedly laundered about Rs 450 crore to Singapore and some other countries, including Dubai, through Hawala channels.
ED sources said the probe in the past two months found evidence of Ghosh’s links with Saradha Group and financial transactions in which he defrauded a consortium of six national banks, including the Indian Bank, SBI and UBI, of Rs 186 crore, and parked the money in a trust in Singapore. The trust is in the name of Ghosh’s daughter, an investigating official said.
It was learnt that the Ministry of External Affairs has initiated the process to seek permission from Singapore to investigate the trust formed by Ghosh.
The CBI Wednesday interrogated Ghosh for more than nine hours. The grilling comes two days after a local court granted bail to Ghosh, who was arrested by the ED on June 24. He was granted conditional bail after spending 63 days in custody as the agency failed to submit a chargesheet in the 60-day period.
Ghosh, sources said, was questioned about the laundered Rs 450 crore of which Rs 30 crore came from Saradha investors. The bank fraud unit of CBI confirmed they are looking into the money trail.