The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader and Burdwan Municipality President Pranab Chatterjee in West Bengal for allegedly misappropriating Rs 3.74 crore from a trust running a chit fund scheme. Officials gave this information on Friday. Officials said Chatterjee was not named in the FIR and his alleged role had come to the fore during a three-year-long probe against chit fund schemes allegedly run by the Sunmarg Welfare Organisation. Chatterjee was arrested on Friday and produced before a court in Asansol, which sent him to two-day CBI custody.
Officials said that during the probe, the CBI found that the Chatterjee Trust was closely associated with the Sanmarg Welfare Organization and trustees. Chatterjee was allegedly involved in the registration of the trust and allowed the trust to carry on illegal deposit collection business from its commercial premises.
CBI spokesperson RC Joshi said, “During the investigation it was also alleged that the accused (Chatterjee) in conspiracy with other accused (trustees) misappropriated Rs 3.74 crore from the trust for personal use in various ways.” ‘
The CBI, in its FIR, alleged that the accused, Soumarup Bhowmik, chairman of Sunmarg Welfare Organization and others, lured people to invest in their schemes on a large scale without requisite permission from regulatory authorities and charged them higher rates on completion of the tenure. Along with promised to return the amount.
“It is also alleged that a large number of investors have invested their hard earned money in the trust,” the spokesperson said. It was also alleged that the trustee cheated the investors, misappropriated their hard earned money, closed the branches and fled.
The CBI took over the investigation of chit fund fraud cases in West Bengal and Odisha on 9 May 2014 on the directions of the Supreme Court.
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