KOLKATA: The Enforcement Directorate has recovered Rs 27.90 crore and six kg gold from another house of Arpita Mukherjee, a close aide of arrested West Bengal Commerce & Industries Minister Partha Chatterjee.
A truck of RBI left Arpita's residence ferrying recovered cash and gold in ten steel trunks on Thursday morning.
Soon after the ED sleuths on Wednesday evening witnessed the bundles of cash in Rs 500 and Rs 2,0000 denominations in the cupboard of the bedroom in Arpita's Belgharia flat on the northern outskirts of Kolkata, they guessed that that the cash stacked here might be much higher than what was recovered from her Diamond City residence.
"So, we did not take the risk and requested jumbo currency counting machines which can count more notes at one go. Our request was adhered to and soon officials from State Bank of India reached with four such jumbo currency counting machines which can count 1,000 notes at one go and in a minute. Still, it took till early Thursday morning to complete the counting process as well as loading them in the steel trunks," the official said.
"In addition to that, we have also recovered around six kg of gold, in the form of bars and ornaments, valuing more than Rs 4 crore. So total cash recovery from the two flats of Arpita Mukherjee amounts to Rs 49.10 crore," the official said.
Several silver coins have also been recovered from the Belgharia residence, the market value of which is yet to be ascertained. The officials said that the total cash recovery from the Belgharia residence of Arpita Mukherjee has been recorded at Rs 27.90 crore, as against Rs 21.20 crore recovered from her Diamond Park residence.
On the huge cash and gold recovery, Trinamool Congress' state general secretary and party spokesman Kunal Ghosh said that whatever is happening is a matter of grave concern and really very shameful.
"However, I am sure that the party leadership is keeping a close watch on the entire development and will take the appropriate decision at the right time," Ghosh said.
Leader of the opposition in the state assembly Suvendu Adhikari said that even after this huge cash recovery if Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee does not remove Partha Chatterjee from the Cabinet, it will be evident that the share of the illegal cash is not just restricted to Partha Chatterjee.
Partha Chatterjee was arrested in connection with the alleged irregularities in the recruitment of teachers and non-teaching staff in government schools when he was the state education minister.