The Enforcement Directorate has recovered Rs 20 crore cash, 3kg gold from another house of Arpita Mukherjee, a close aide of Trinamool Congress Minister Partha Chatterjee. The flat, located in Belgharia, had notes of Rs 2000 and Rs 500 denomination. Chatterjee was arrested on Saturday in connection with the SSC scam.
The ED had arrested Chatterjee, who is also TMC secretary general, on Saturday in connection with its investigation into the irregularities in the recruitment of teachers by the School Service Commission. The ED officials started counting notes from 7.30 pm and it went on till after 9.30pm.
The agency had called in bank officials, who brought note-counting machines, to count the cash recovered. Sources said that apart from cash, more property documents were recovered by the agency. According to reports, she also said that only Partha Chatterjee and his men had access to the room where the cash was kept.
Earlier, during a raid last week, ED seized Rs 21 crore in cash from Arpita Mukherjee's home.
The probe agency launched coordinated searches at the premises of Chatterjee, the state industries and commerce minister, his aide Arpita Mukherjee, Minister of State for Education Paresh C Adhikary, MLA and ex-president of West Bengal Board of Primary Education Manik Bhattacharya and a number of other persons.
"During the searches, the ED recovered cash amounting to approximately Rs 20 crore from the residential premises of Arpita Mukherjee, who is a close associate of Partha Chatterjee.
"The said amount is suspected to be proceeds of crime of the said SSC (School Service Commission) scam," the federal agency alleged in a statement.
It said the search team is taking the assistance of bank officials to count the seized cash using machines.
"More than 20 mobile phones have also been seized from the premises of Arpita Mukherjee, the purpose and use of which is being ascertained," the ED said.
The others who were raided include P K Bandopadhyay, OSD to Partha Chatterjee when he was the state education minister earlier, his then personal secretary Sukanta Acharjee, Chandan Mondal alias Ranjan, a "tout" who allegedly used to take money on the promise of giving school teacher jobs, Kalyanmay Bhattacharya, son-in-law of Partha Bhattacharya; Krishna C Adhikary, and Dr S P Sinha, advisor of the West Bengal Central School Service Commission - convenor of the 5-member committee.
Kalyanmoy Ganguly, the ex-president of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education; Saumitra Sarkar, ex-president of the West Bengal Central School Service Commission; and Alok Kumar Sarkar, the deputy director of the School Education Department were also raided.
The ED said, "A number of incriminating documents, records, details of dubious companies, electronic devices, foreign currency and gold have been recovered from the premises of persons linked to the scam."
As per ED officials, Mukherjee has been "cooperative throughout". However, the former Bengal education minister was "noncooperative". "We are finding grilling Chatterjee quite difficult. He has been very stubborn and noncooperative with our officers. He is not replying to our questions," the official said. He is likely to be questioned along with Arpita and Manik Bhattacharya, the TMC MLA and former president of West Bengal Board of Primary Education, the official said.