Earlier this year, the five-time MLA faced arrest by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau in connection with a case associated with purported possession of disproportionate assets
Trinamool Congress leader Santanu Bandopadhyay, who is currently in Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody in connection with the multi-crore teachers’ recruitment scam in West Bengal, was also involved in ‘money for transfer’ racket.
The revelation has been made by the investigating ED officials who have secured copies of recommendation letters for transfer of state government employees while conducting raid and search operations at Bandopadhyay’s residence, sources said.
According to them, from examination of related documents it is also clear that there were fixed rates of payments for transfer depending on the proposed place of transfer, where transfers to Kolkata or its adjacent districts attracted highest payments.
Bandopadhyay, who is also principal nodal officer of Hooghly district Zilla Parishad, will be presented on Monday at a special court of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in Kolkata where the ED counsel might make an appeal for extension of his central agency custody.
Meanwhile, it learnt that in the remand letter of Bandopadhyay, ED has mentioned about property worth Rs 20 crore held by the accused ruling party leader as well as his wife Priyanka Bandopadhyay.
ED has already summoned Priyanka Bandopadhyay to be present at ED’s office at central government office (CGO) complex at Salt Lake this week and will seek clarifications on the sources of funds behind such huge property, which include resorts and high-end dhabas among others.
ED has already got definite proof that Bandopadhyay had direct links with Trinamool Congress legislator and former president of West Bengal Board of Primary Education (WBBPE), Manik Bhattacharya, who is currently in judicial custody along with his wife and son for their alleged involvement in the recruitment scam.
The ED has recovered two identical lists of candidates for primary teachers’ recruitment, first from the residence of Bhattacharya and the second from the residence of Bandopadhyay.