In a big setback for West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the ruling party in the state Trinamool Congress, the Central Bureau of Investigation today arrested party MP Tapas Pal for his alleged role in the Rose Valley chit fund scam. The Lok Sabha MP was taken into custody after a four-hour-long interrogation.
The probe agency had issued summons to Pal and another TMC MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay in connection with the scam, one of the cases being probed by the investigating agency as part of the umbrella of chit fund scams.
While Bandyopadhyay told the CBI that he will appear in the first week of January, Pal presented himself before the premier investigating agency today following which he was taken into custody.
The CBI had on January 7 filed its charge sheet in the Rose Valley Group chit fund scam naming its chairman Gautam Kunduand and three others in a special court in Bhubaneswar.
The firm was charged with defrauding depositors of Rs 17,000 crore from across the country of which Rs 450 crore was received by the ponzi firm from Odisha alone.
In its charge sheet, the CBI had claimed that it was still probing the role of "influential people" in the scam.
Besides the role of regulatory authorities, the money trail and a larger conspiracy hatched by the accused persons to cheat the public are still under probe of the agency.
Sources said that CBI, in its charge sheet, has named Kundu, the then Managing Directors Ashok Kumar Saha and Ram Lal Goswami, besides Rose Valley Real Estate and Constructions, Rose Valley Real Estate and Land Bank, and Rose Valley Hotels and Entertainment.
CBI has alleged that these persons and companies were allegedly responsible for running "illegal" ponzi scheme in violations of the norms of RBI, SEBI and Registrar of Companies.
The agency alleged that they kept running the schemes "knowing fully well" that these were "commercially unviable" and continued cheating people by keeping them associated with the group.