The CBI conducted raids to question Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with the probe in ponzi scam. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee had called him the ‘best police officer in the world’.
Hours after CBI conducted a raid at Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar’s residence, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee launched an all-out attack against the Narendra Modi-led NDA government for trying to run a parallel administration in the state. The CM sat at a dharna at Metro Channel for the same.
The CBI was looking for Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, whom Banerjee called the best police officer in the world, in connection with a probe into Ponzi scheme scam case.
Kumar, a 1989 batch IPS officer, is considered close to Banerjee, and he had headed a SIT probe connected to Saradha and Rose valley ponzi scams before the case was transferred to the CBI in 2014 on Supreme Court’s orders.
What is Saradha financial scam?
Saradha financial scandal was a major scam which trapped the poor and the marginalized people by promising them huge returns in lieu of their investment. The group was successful in raising Rs 200 to 300 billion from millions of depositors before collapsing in April 2013.
Saradha Group, a consortium of over 200 private companies, had roped in eminent personalities from all walks of life and had established deep ties with politicians. To make the group popular and to bring more people under its fold they invested heavily in brand building.
The Supreme Court transferred the case to CBI after serious allegations of international money laundering, severe regulatory failures and political nexus surfaced.
From investing in football clubs like Mohun Bagan to sponsoring Durga Puja events, the group did everything to highlight its legitimacy in the eyes of the people. Several political leaders from TMC received financial support from Saradha group and politicians from outside the state also benefitted from the scam.
Apart from West Bengal, states which were affected by Saradha Ponzi scam were Odisha, Assam, Jharkhand and Tripura.
Rose valley scam
Rose Valley scam was even bigger than the Saradha scam and according to Enforcement Directorate estimates more than Rs 15,000 crore was reportedly collected from depositors across India mainly from West Bengal, Assam and Bihar. However, according to a report by News18, the all India small depositors association pegged the amount at Rs 40,000 crore. Few reports pegged the amount at over Rs 60,000 crore.
According to ED, a portion of the money was also used to bribe politicians so that the scam can run smoothly. Millions of people invested their life savings with hopes of high returns but in the end, all that they had accumulated after years of hard work got lost in the deep web of scams.