New Delhi, May 20: The ED on Saturday summoned Narada News CEO Mathew Samuel on May 24 in a money laundering case it registered regarding a sting operation by his portal that showed senior TMC leaders in West Bengal allegedly receiving money in exchange for favours to a fictitious company.
The Enforcement Directorate directed Samuel to visit its Kochi office for questioning in the case. On May 11 also, the ED had issued summons to Samuel and asked him to appear at its Kolkata’s Salt Lake office on May 18.
Samuel has been asked to bring along or send his personal financial documents, those of the news channel and income tax returns of the last three assessment years.
Samuel is not an accused in the ED case but the agency wants to quiz him to get information about the sting and the circumstances in which it was carried out.
He was earlier quizzed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in this case. The ED registered a case against Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act on the basis of a case registered by the CBI last month.
The CBI had filed a criminal case against a dozen senior leaders of the West Bengal’s ruling party and an Indian Police Service officer in the Narada case.
Those named in the FIR include all 12 persons allegedly captured on sting video footage while receiving money, including Trinamool Vice-President and Rajya Sabha member Mukul Roy, Lok Sabha members Sougata Roy, Sultan Ahmed, Kakali Ghosh Dastidar, state ministers Subrata Mukherjee, Firhad Hakim, and Sovan Chatterjee, who is also the Kolkata Mayor, and former minister Madan Mitra.
Trinamool Congress MP Aparupa Poddar’s name is also included in the FIR. The controversy erupted in West Bengal in March last year when Narada News portal uploaded a series of video footages purportedly showing senior Trinamool leaders receiving money.