A jaw-dropping 121 properties owned by Anubrata Mondal or his relatives and close associates. Another 47 properties registered in the name of Mondal’s former bodyguard Saigal Hossain or his known associates.
That’s the staggering list of real estate that the CBI claims it has been able to put its fingers on while probing the Bengal cattle smuggling case. So far, that is.
The agency has already arrested the Trinamool Congress Birbhum district chief and his former bodyguard. It claims it is digging for more.
This is why the agency conducted fresh raids on Wednesday at multiple locations in Bolpur, Birbhum, in premises belonging to close aides of Mondal and seized documents and evidences.
Property list of Anubrata Mondal
The CBI says it has so far been able to identify 121 properties, mostly plots of land, registered under the name of Anubrata Mondal or his relatives or close associates. The list is as follows:
- Anubrata Mondal: 24 properties
- Sukanya Mondal, Anubrata’s daughter: 26 properties
- Chhabi Mondal, Anubrata’s now deceased wife: 6 properties
- Shibani Ghosh, Anubrata’s sister: 12 properties
- Kamal Kanti Ghosh, Anubrata’s brother-in-law and Shibani’s husband: 5 properties
- Raja Ghosh, son of Shibani and Kamal Kanti Ghosh: 9 properties
- Paramita Ghosh, wife of Raja Ghosh and daughter-in-law of Shibani: 4 properties
- Bidyut Baran Gayen, a known associate of Anubrata Mondal and a Bolpur municipality employee: 32 properties
- Mahua Gayen, wife of Bidyut Gayen: 2 properties
- Anushree Gayen, daughter of Bidyut Gayen: 1 property
While no clear estimate is so far available on the total area of these land plots or their present price in the market, their total valuation would run into hundreds of crores.
Fresh CBI raids
With Anubrata Mondal completing his full term of 14 days in CBI custody and currently serving 14-day judicial custody in Asansol Jail, the agency claims it has fresh leads into how the proceeds of cattle smuggling, which allegedly run into hundreds or crores of rupees, have been channelised and laundered.
That despite the CBI claiming in the same breath that Mondal has remained mostly mum to the agency questions put before him so far.
Based on its fresh leads, the agency conducted search operations at multiple locations in Bolpur on Wednesday. The premises searched were:
1. Residence and office of Manish Kothari, a Chartered Accountant who served as an accountant for both Mondal and Saigal. Sources in CBI confirmed that it has seized documents related to at least seven properties from Kothari’s residence and multiple incriminating evidences related to Mondal and Saigal’s properties from Kothari’s office.
2. Residence of Biswajyoti Banerjee, councillor, ward no. 19 of Bolpur municipality and someone known to be close to Mondal. Banerjee was detained and taken to the temporary CBI camp in Bolpur for questioning and was later released.
3. A team of CBI officers also visited the Bank Of India’s Nichupatti branch in Bolpur to check account details of Biswajyoti Banerjee. This branch happened to be the same one where the agency earlier found close to Rs 17 crore in fixed deposits in the name of Anubrata Mondal and his daughter Sukanya and froze them.
4. Residence of Sudip Roy, a Trinamool Congress worker and a close associate of Biswajyoti Banerjee.
5. Residence of Sujit Dey, a local businessman known to be close to Anubrata Mondal.
These premises apart, a team of CBI officers also visited the SDO’s office in Bolpur during the day and collected information on vehicles used by Mondal and his associates.
Dubious dealings in firms owned by Anubrata’s daughter
Documents available with News18 reveal that two companies owned by Sukanya Mondal, who was appointed as a primary school teacher after the Trinamool Congress came to power in West Bengal in 2011, received Rs 27.73 crore between 2018 and 2022.
The companies, Neer Developer Private Limited and ANM Agrochem Foods Private Limited, received the amount in 14 tranches as deposits from either other companies or from their own directors and are currently under CBI lens for acting as possible money laundering fronts in the cattle smuggling case.
Interestingly, besides Anubrata Mondal and Sukanya, the third director of both these companies is Bidyut Baran Gayen who, according to the CBI, owns no less than 35 plots of land between himself and his family.
The amount, documents show, was declared by the companies as acceptance of money under Rule 2 (1) (C) and Rule 16 of the Companies (Acceptance of Deposit) Rules 2014 as loans from companies “not considered as deposit” and loans/deposits from directors or relatives of directors respectively.
Asked how these revelations could affect the prospects of his client in court, Sanjib Kuman Dan, counsel for Anubrata Mondal, said: “Law will take its own course and we will do our best to defend our client in court. We are at a critical stage in this legal battle and will say whatever we have to say in court.”
Legal experts close to Mondal, requesting anonymity, however, admitted that the way CBI is proceeding, in this case, is making Mondal’s prospects look bleaker by the day. “It is delving deep into this case to levels we never thought it would. It is clear that the matter would soon be taken over by the ED and PMLA sections would be slapped on Mondal,” one of them said.