Suman Chattopadhyay, editor of the leading Bengali daily Ei Shomoy (of the Times Group), was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation on December 20 in connection with an illegal fund collection scam. Suman Chattopadhyay, who is also a director of Disha Production and Media Private Ltd (DPMPL), is alleged to have received funds from I-Core Group, a ponzi scheme company that is under investigation for financial irregularities, both in his personal account and in the accounts of DPMPL. According to reports, the I-Core group has raised more than Rs.3,000 crore from the public over promises of high rates of return.
“Investigation has revealed that funds collected illegally by the I-Core Group were allegedly diverted in the accounts of M/s DPMPL as well as personal account of Shri Suman Chattopadhyay…. The investigation is continuing,” said the CBI. On December 21, Suman Chattopadhyay was produced before the court of the Special Judicial Magistrate, Bhubaneswar. He has been under the lens of the investigating agencies for some time now, and has been grilled by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on several occasions earlier.
Suman Chattopadhyay was also known to be close to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the Trinamool Congress. “Even though relations between the two are not good any more, Suman Chattopadhyay's arrest is nevertheless causing some discomfort in certain circles of the Trinamool,” said a political source. The Trinamool Congress itself has been under scrutiny for the alleged involvement of some of its senior members in fund collection scams. Several party heavyweights, including MPs, MLAs and also a senior Cabinet Minister have been put behind bars for their alleged involvement in the multi-crore Saradha and Rose Valley scams.