Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Bengal coal smuggling case: ED summons Abhishek Banerjee’s sister-in-law Maneka Gambhir

In the coal smuggling scam in West Bengal, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has also summoned Maneka Gambhir, sister-in-law of Trinamool Congress’ national general secretary and party MP, Abhishek Banerjee, for questioning.

While Abhishek Banerjee, the nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, has been asked to be present at the ED’s office at the central government office (CGO) at Salt Lake in the northern outskirts of Kolkata on Friday (September 2) Maneka Gambhir has been asked to be present at the agency’s New Delhi office on September 5.

However, Maneka Gambhir has approached a court in Delhi challenging the ED’s summon. This is the second time that Maneka Gambhir has been summoned by the central agency in connection with the coal smuggling scam.

On Monday, while addressing a massive rally on the occasion of the foundation day of Trinamool Congress’s student wing, Trinamool Chhatra Parishad, the chief minister said that after summoning Abhishek Banerjee and his wife Rujira Narula, the central agencies might also summon their two-year-old kid.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) originally took over the investigation of the coal smuggling case by registering a case in November 2020. Later, the ED was roped in the investigation process to probe the money laundering angle.

Abhishek Banerjee and his wife Rujira Narula Banerjee have been questioned more than once by both the agencies in connection with the scam.

Rujira was questioned mainly on two bank accounts, purportedly held by her, one in London and the another in Bangkok. She was specially questioned about the Bangkok- based bank account, where money was transferred by a Howrah- based chartered accountant, Neeraj Singh, who is currently absconding. The money transferred, according to ED sources, was from an India-based bank account after converting Indian rupee into Thai baht.

Apart from that she was also questioned about some mobile screenshots that the agency has recovered from the cellphones of other suspects in the coal smuggling scam.