In a significant move to unravel the depths of the alleged West Bengal Jobs Scam, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) initiated raids at eight locations in and around Kolkata. The focus of these searches was on individuals suspected to have played the role of “middlemen” in facilitating the recruitment irregularities within state-run and aided schools of West Bengal.
Commencing at 6.30 am, the raids unfolded in phases throughout the day, concluding at around 10 pm. The targeted locations included residences, offices, and bungalows associated with those believed to have acted as intermediaries in the illicit activities.
According to an ED official, these middlemen were instrumental in collecting funds and channeling them to various addresses. The agency, accompanied by a substantial contingent of central forces, executed search operations in New Town, Nayabad, and Mukundapur, with a focus on both eastern and southern fringes of Kolkata. Family members of the implicated middlemen were also subjected to questioning during the course of the raids.
One of the key middlemen, closely linked to former Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee and arrested MLA Jibon Saha, was revealed to possess properties in over 400 locations across the state. The ED is diligently examining bank documents and property-related papers to ascertain the source of the accumulated wealth.
The ED officer disclosed that the agency had identified another middleman during the investigation, prompting ongoing search operations at his residence. Further details about his involvement are expected to emerge as the probe progresses.
During the intense grilling on Thursday, the ED unearthed information about additional properties linked to one of the middlemen, leading to a subsequent raid. Properties were found registered in the names of both middlemen and their associates, prompting the agency to deepen its investigation into their respective roles in the recruitment scam.
Interestingly, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), concurrently probing the same scam, has also identified these “middlemen” as crucial figures in the irregularities surrounding school job appointments. The ED’s raids shed light on the extensive network involved in the alleged scam, bringing to the forefront the intricate web of financial transactions and property acquisitions that demand further scrutiny.