Cattle smuggling case: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) today (November 17) arrested senior Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader and the party's Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal in connection with the multi-crore cattle smuggling case after a marathon interrogation at Asansol Correctional Home where he has been lodged, the agency officials said.
Mondal was questioned for over five hours. He was earlier apprehended by the CBI in the same case in August and is in judicial custody. The CBI is investigating the criminal aspect of the cattle smuggling case, while the ED is probing the money laundering angle.
ED sources said the agency will now seek custody of Mondal. It will also initiate the legal process for taking Mondal to Delhi and question him at the agency's headquarters in the national capital.
The central agency interrogated Mondal in the correctional home after his daughter Sukanya Mondal during interrogation had said “his father was aware of all the financial accounts and transactions”.
The ED had already interrogated Sukanya at its office in Delhi in connection with the cattle smuggling scam.
The CBI had earlier arrested Mondal's former bodyguard Sehgal Hossain and also named him as a prime accused in a chargesheet filed by it. Subsequently, the ED had taken Hossain into its custody.
The Central Bureau of Investigation which is conducting a parallel probe in the case, had first arrested Mondal on August 11 this year. Since then, he had been in judicial custody at the Asansol Special Correctional Home.
Meanwhile, it was learned that ED officials will move to a special court in Asansol and seek Mondal's custody in the matter. At the same time, the agency may approach the Rouse Avenue Court in Delhi for transit remand to take Mondal to the national capital.
ED sources said that during the questioning on Thursday, Mondal thoroughly tried to mislead the officials. Even when documents relating to a sudden rise in the assets and properties of his family were placed before him, Mondal denied knowledge in the matter and said that all these matters were dealt by his chartered accountant, Manish Kothari. Finally, the ED officials decided to arrest him.
(With agencies inputs)