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Police unearth Rs.750 crore assets of Saradha chief

Kolkata, May 11 (IANS) Police have unearthed property worth Rs.750 crore so far by quizzing chit fund-aided Saradha Group's arrested promoter Sudipa Sen and his top aides, an official said Saturday. Six motorcycles with red beacons and hooters allegedly used by company's officials to carry cash was also seized.

The bikes were found in a garage of Saradha Group office, police sources said.

Meanwhile, the Justice (retd) Shyamal Sen inquiry commission constituted by the state government to probe the Saradha Group scam and recommend ways of returning money to the depositors, was being flooded with complaints.

An official said around 60,000 complaints have been received from investors and agents, who have been pouring in not only from across West Bengal, but from adjoining states as well. It will receive complaints until June 29.

A commission official said it was taking complaints not only from investors and agents of Saradha group, but also from other such companies. "This is as per the terms of reference."

With Sen being grilled in police custody, the sleuths continued to find more assets.

"We have so far unearthed assets valued at Rs.750 crores by grilling Sen," said Deputy Commissioner of Police Arnab Ghosh of Bidhannagar Commissionerate, which is probing what is being regarded as the biggest financial scam to rock West Bengal.

During the day, police personnel from Joynagar in South 24 Parganas district interrogated Sen and his confidant Debjani Mukherjee in connection with a cheating case filed against them by some depositors.

A couple of days back the sleuths had summoned for questioning a former official of the Reserve Bank of India who during his days with the apex bank is said to have given some undue facilities to Sen.

A police source said names of some officers of Securities and Exchange Board of India, Income Tax department, banks, and other central and state government agencies have cropped up following Sen's interrogation. "Some of them have already been questioned. We are tallying their replies with the information given by Sen."

Sleuths have also stumbled on 40 acres of land owned by Sen in Shimla.

Sen, Mukherjeee and another senior official of the Group were arrested April 23 from Sonmarg in Jammu and Kashmir, days after the Group collapsed, unable to repay lakhs of depositors - most of them poor people from villages and small towns - who had parked their hard earned money with its companies, lured by promise of huge returns.

Already, a number of and depositors of Saradha and similar chit fund companies have committed suicide, while offices of a large number of such dubious concerns operating in the state have been attacked.

Even on Saturday, an office of a chit fund company was ransacked by depositors at Pandabeshwar of Hooghly district for allegedly cheating and siphoning of funds.

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