Digital Desk, Kolkata. West Bengal Law Minister Moloy Ghatak twice did not appear before the Enforcement Directorate in Delhi on Thursday in connection with his alleged involvement in the multi-crore coal smuggling case. Ghatak was questioned by the investigating agency for more than four hours.
Though Ghatak was not available for comment, sources close to the Law Minister confirmed that Ghatak went to the ED, Delhi office at 11.30 am on Thursday and was handed over a questionnaire related to his connection in the case. ED officials said they were asked to write all the answers in their own hands.
The ED officials wanted to know whether as the MLA of the constituency, he was aware of the coal smuggling going on there and whether he had taken any action in this regard or informed the police or higher authorities. Is.
ED officials admitted that Ghatak’s name came up during the interrogation of several accused in the case and allegations of financial transactions were also made. Ghatak was also asked about this.
Earlier, Ghatak had skipped two inquiries and also asked ED officials to come to Kolkata and question him. He was last summoned on September 13, when the minister, in a mail sent to the ED office, said that he was busy with election work due to the bypolls in the state and would not be able to appear before the probe agency.
Earlier on September 2, he was asked to appear before the agency as he had avoided questioning citing health issues. At that time the minister had also said that since he was posted in Kolkata and the ED has an office in the city, the officers could come to Kolkata and record his statement. The minister had also said that he was ready to cooperate with the probe agency.
The case was registered under criminal sections of the PMLA by the ED after going through the November, 2020 FIR of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), alleging the multi-crore coal theft scam related to the mines of Eastern Coalfields Limited had gone. Anup Manjhi alias Lala, a local state operative in the Kunustoria and Kajora areas of the state in and around Asansol, is the prime suspect.
The ED had earlier claimed that Ghatak was the beneficiary of the money received from this illegal trade. According to ED sources, investigators have spoken to more than one person in this connection, gathered information and recorded their statements. In these inquiries, Ghatak’s name has come up on several occasions. Apart from the ED, the CBI is also probing the coal scam.