Anubrata Mondal's bodyguard into custody

by IANS |

Kolkata, Aug 25 (IANS) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has started the process to take into custody Trinamool Congress strongman Anubrata Mondal's bodyguard, Sehgal Hossain, who is deemed to have played the role of an intermediator in the multi-crore cattle smuggling scam.

The probe agency has already made any appeal on this count to the Rouse Avenue Court in New Delhi.

ED sources said that they want to take Hossain to New Delhi for interrogation in order to get a clear picture of the money-trail in the scam from the beginning to an end that is both the source of the money received as well as the avenues to which that funds were channelised.

Hossain is currently under judicial custody and has been housed at the Asansol Special Correctional Home, where Mondal has also been lodged since Wednesday evening.

Mondal will be in judicial custody till September 7 as per the order of the special CBI court.

ED sources further said that not just Hossain, but their sleuths also want to question Mondal, most preferably in New Delhi, on the same money-trail angle.

According to the sources, the questioning of Mondal has become important after a number of shell companies with his daughter as the directors of the company have surfaced in the course of investigation.

For the time being, ED sleuths want to question Mondal at the correctional home at Asansol where he is housed.

The sources said that sleuths are currently in the process of joining the dots in the three coinciding factors in the scam, namely the peak time of the smuggling via Birbhum; massive rise in Mondal and Hossain's properties and assets; and the posting of Satish Kumar as the commandant of the BSF's 36th battalion at the bordering district of Murshidabad, traditionally deemed as the epicentre of cross-border cattle smuggling in West Bengal.

Kumar was arrested by the ED earlier.

"The common link between these three factors is that all of them happened in the period between 2015 and 2017. So, it is necessary to bring both Mondal and Hossain in our custody and grill them," an ED official said.

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