Cattle scam: CBI traces 153 more benami accounts in cooperative bank

Kolkata:  The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has traced 153 more ‘benami’ bank accounts in a cooperative bank at Suri in Birbhum district of West Bengal, suspected of being linked to diversion of proceeds in the multi-crore cattle smuggling scam.

A team of CBI officials went to the cooperative bank on Wednesday afternoon and checked the transactions in these accounts.

With this, the total number of benami bank accounts held in the cooperative bank located at Suri since January 5 has reached 330.

Sources said that both debit and credit transactions amounting to lakhs of rupees have been made though these accounts.

“Our officials cross-checked with the official holders of these accounts and learnt that they did not have any knowledge of the existence of such accounts. Mainly the villages from marginal backgrounds were targeted, who could not even make their own signatures. In fact, only one particular signature was used in all the application forms for these accounts, as well as in all the transaction slips,” a central agency official said.

After questioning those who are ‘officially’ the holders of these accounts, mostly residents of the adjacent villages in Birbhum district, the CBI has learnt that some local leaders took copies of government identity proofs on several occasions, promising them of linking their names with different developmental schemes of the state government.

The central agency doubts that probably those copies were used to open these benami bank accounts.

This is the first time that any cooperative bank has come under the CBI’s radar in connection with the cattle smuggling case.

Earlier, the CBI had frozen several bank accounts held by Trinamool Congress’ Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal, his daughter Sukanya Mondal as well as some of their close associates and family members. But all those accounts were held in public or private sector banks.

–IANS

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