Rose Valley chit fund scam: Mamata slams Modi govt, calls MP Tapas Pal's arrest 'vendetta politics'

In what may set the stage for a showdown between the Centre and Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested TMC MP Tapas Pal on Friday in connection with the Rose Valley chit fund scam, News18 reports. The report added that Pal was arrested after four hours of interrogation.

The arrest of the actor-turned-politician has been termed a witchhunt by Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Derek O'Brien. In a series of tweets, he targeted the BJP-led Centre, linking the arrest to TMC's opposition to the note ban.

Addressing a press conference, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took on the Modi government.

The chief minister also charged the BJP of being involved in Rose Valley as well as another chit fund scam.

On Tuesday, CBI had issued a summon to Tapas Pal in connection to the chit fund scam. Meanwhile, another TMC leader, Sudip Bandopadhyay, was also summoned by the investigative agency, after failing to appear before the CBI for interrogation last week.

In March 2016, the Enforcement Directorate charged the Chairman of the Rose Valley group of companies Gautam Kundu — who was arrested in 2015 —and others in the scam.

The Rose Valley group had allegedly floated a total of 27 companies for running the alleged chit fund operations out of which only half-a-dozen were active.

It is alleged that the firm had floated the scheme by promising inflated returns on investments between eight and 27 percent to gullible investors in various states.

The company had allegedly promised astronomical returns to depositors on land properties and assets and bookings done in the real estate sector. It is alleged that the company had made "cross investments" in its various sister firms to suppress its liabilities towards investors.

SEBI had probed the company before ED and CBI registered cases against the group.

The ED has pegged the total volume of the alleged irregularities at Rs 15,000 crore.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Dec 30, 2016 18:28:02 IST