ED arrests key aide of late Maorama Devi in Srijan scam case

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ED arrests key aide of late Maorama Devi in Srijan scam case
New Delhi/Patna: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) said on Thursday that it has arrested one Pranav Kumar Ghosh, a close associate of late Manorama Devi, founder of the Srijan Mahila Vikas Sahyog Samiti Limited (SMVSSL), in connection with a money laundering case.

The ED said in a statement that the financial probe agency arrested Ghosh under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

It said that Ghosh is alleged to be involved in the big scam known as ‘Srijan Scam’, wherein government funds were diverted to various bank accounts of SMVSSL in Bihar.

The Srijan Scam is estimated to be worth more than Rs 500 crore.

The ED said that Ghosh was a close associate of Devi, and he along with various government officials, bank officials, private persons and other members conspired to divert government funds into the accounts of Srijan, which were used for the benefit of all the conspirators.

It is alleged that SMVSSL opened various bank accounts in Bank of Baroda, Indian Bank and Bhagalpur Co-operative Bank with the help of bank officials.

It further said that in conspiracy with the government officials, the funds lying in the District Land Acquisition Office, Indira Aawas Yojana, District Welfare Scheme etc. were transferred to Srijan’s account.

In furtherance of the conspiracy, the funds from Srijan were misused for the purchase of flats and other immovable properties in Ghaziabad, Pune, Patna, Bhagalpur etc., the ED said.

The ED had registered a case of money laundering on the basis of an FIR registered by the CBI.

“During investigation, it was revealed that the accused had acquired movable and immovable properties out of the proceeds of the crime. As a result of initial investigation, two orders were issued attaching assets worth Rs 18.45 crore, including 32 flats, 18 shops, 38 plots/houses, 47 bank accounts, among others,” it said.

“During investigation, Ghosh had been non-cooperative and didn’t comply with the summons issued by the ED. Therefore, he was arrested on August 6 and sent to 5-day ED custody by a court,” the ED added.

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