Kolkata, Nov 5 (SocialNews.XYZ) The Central Bureau of India (CBI) officials probing the multi-crore cattle smuggling scam in West Bengal are investigating a unique angle where prize-money winning lottery tickets might have been used to convert the unaccounted money collected as crime proceeds into accounted ones.
Explaining the modus operandi of this transaction, an agency official said that if someone wins a lottery of a prize money of Rs 1 crore.
That person will have to collect the money by submitting the particular lottery ticket. After deducting statutory taxes, the winner is expected to get around Rs 75 lakh. At that point of time, it appears that person or his agent who wishes to convert his unaccounted money into accounted one.
That second person pays the original lottery award winner an amount higher than the latter he is supposed to receive after deducting taxes and gets possession of the ticket.
After that the second person draws the prize money which is an accounted one.
The suspicion of the CBI sleuths on this count started when CBI tracked a record of Trinamool Congress strongman and the party's president, Anubrata Mondal, who is currently in judicial custody in connection with the cattle scam, win a prize of Rs 1 crore in a lottery in January this year.
The CBI sleuths started tracking the past records of that lottery ticket. They came to know that one lottery agency entity, Rahul Agency sold that lottery to a wholesaler Ranajit Dhibor, who subsequently sold the lottery to a retailer in Birbhum district, Munna Sheikh. The latter sold the ticket against which Mondal won a prize of Rs 1 crore.
The CBI sleuths, agency sources said, questioned both Dhibor and Sheikh. Dhibor's explanation was that since he is a whole-seller it is not possible for him to know to whom the ticket was actually sold.
Sheikh's explanation was that it is impossible for him to recollect to whom he actually sold that particular ticket as many people regularly come to his retail outlet to purchase tickets.
Although CBI sleuths are yet to come to a definite conclusion on this line of proceeds diversion using the lottery route, their sleuths have started a new line of probe on this count.