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West Bengal: Acting ED director reaches Kolkata in wake of attacks on agency teams

Kolkata: In-charge ED Director Rahul Navin will review the probe into the alleged public distribution and paddy procurement scam and discuss security concerns of the local ED establishment in the backdrop of the attacks on the search teams of the central probe agency in West Bengal, official sources said Tuesday.

The ED chief, who landed here midnight, is also expected to meet the injured officials along with senior officials of the agency's Kolkata-based regional office on Tuesday, the sources said.

He may also call on Governor C V Ananda Bose at the Raj Bhavan here.

Three ED officials were injured and their mobiles, laptops and wallets were "looted" when they reached Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district to search the premises of TMC leader Shajahan Sheikh on January 5.

Sheikh is currently absconding and the ED has issued a look-out circular (LC) against him alerting all land, air and sea ports to stop his exit from the country.

A second agency team was attacked and their vehicle was damaged during the arrest of another TMC leader Shankar Adhya in Bongaon of the said district on the same day.

An officer of the probe agency told PTI that "The head of the ED will chair a meeting regarding the attack. Discussions will also be held on the progress of others investigations".

The ED claimed in a press statement that the magnitude of this "scam" was "enormous" and proceeds of crime transferred by a suspect amounts to Rs 9,000-10,000 crore, out of which Rs 2,000 crore are "suspected to be transferred to Dubai either directly or through Bangladesh".

It arrested West Bengal minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Jyotipriya Mallick and his aide Bakibur Rahaman in this case investigation last year while Adhya was arrested last week.

A money laundering charge sheet against Mallick, Rahaman and a company NPG Rice Mill was filed by the agency before a Kolkata court in December last year.

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