ED begins process to freeze bank accounts of Sheikh Shahjahan

Kolkata, April 4 (IANS) Enforcement Directorate (ED) has started the process to freeze the personal bank accounts of suspended Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan as well as those accounts linked to the businesses owned by him.

Sources aware of the development said that the process has started with two bank accounts, one personally held by Shahjahan and the other linked to the fish exports entity Mesars Sheikh Sabina Fish Supply Only, which is registered in the name of Shahjahan’s daughter Sheikh Sabina.

Accordingly, the ED sleuths have written to the authorities of the banks concerned to immediately freeze the debit and credit transaction facilities of these two accounts. At the same time, the central agency sleuths have also enquired with certain bank authorities on the transaction details in some other account linked to Shahjahan, his family members and close associates.

Sources said that a total of 15 such bank accounts and transactions worth Rs 137 crore through these accounts are currently under the scanner of the ED sleuths.

ED sleuths have already secured definite clues on how Shahjahan used his prawn and shrimp export business to earn hefty profits as well as to divert the scam proceeds in different cases of money laundering, including the ration distribution case.

The ED has already filed two separate enforcement case information reports (ECIR) against Shahjahan, also the accused mastermind behind the attack on ED and CAPF personnel on January 5 at Sandeshkhali.

The first ECIR is related to his involvement in the ration distribution and the second is related to using his fish exports business for money laundering.

Shahjahan is also accused of forcefully grabbing farmland from the local farmers at Sandeshkhali and then illegally converting them into pisciculture farms by flowing in saline water there.

He is also accused of putting pressure on other pisciculture farm owners to sell the prawn and shrimps produced on their farms at a nominal profit to his export business and subsequently sell the same products purchased at the nominal rate at premium prices in the export market.

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