A major part of the proceeds of the multi-crore scam in the recruitment of teaching and non-teaching staff in different state-run schools in West Bengal was invested in the Tollywood film industry, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) told the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court here on Friday. ED Counsel Phiroze Edulji told the court that amounts as high as Rs 6.50 crore were transferred to a number of Tollywood actors and actresses from two bank accounts held by expelled and arrested youth Trinamool Congress leader Kuntal Ghosh over a period of time. West Bengal SSS Scam: ED Summons Actor Bonny Sengupta for Bengal Teacher Recruitment Scam Case.
One such Tollywood actor, Bonny Sengupta aka Anupiryo Sengupta had admitted accepting Rs 40 lakh from Ghosh for purchasing a vehicle and on late Thursday evening, he had already returned that amount to ED. However, no other actor or actress who has received money from Ghosh has come up with submission on this count. Sources said that the central agency sleuths will summon them for questioning in the coming days. Tunisha Sharma Suicide Case: Accused Sheezan Khan Granted Bail; Actor Walks Out of Thane Central Jail (Watch Video).
ED counsel said that despite repeatedly asking for the source of such huge funds, Ghosh had not come forward with any definite answer on this count. Even the judge of the special court was heard telling the counsel of Ghosh that his client should divulge the sources of unaccounted money in his bank account. “If one earns Rs 5 crore from illegal means and then pays tax on Rs 2 crore, the entire money does not become legal,” the judge observed.
Meanwhile, the ED has already freezed 10 bank accounts of Ghosh and 15 bank accounts of another expelled and arrested youth Trinamool leader Santanu Bandopadhyay, from where transactions of several crores of rupees were detected by ED sleuths. After hearing arguments from both ends, the special court ultimately extended the judicial custody of Ghosh till March 30.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Mar 17, 2023 08:33 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).