Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Abhishek Banerjee’s wife Rujira Banerjee was stopped by the immigration department at Kolkata Airport from boarding a Dubai-bound flight and has been summoned to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on June 8.
Rujira, who reached the Kolkata airport with her two children, was stopped from boarding her flight at 7 am.
She was detained at the airport in connection with the Bengal coal smuggling scam.
“Though not required to intimate, still to express her bonafide, Rujira Banerjee, wife of TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee informed ED through email of her upcoming visit to Dubai from June 5 to June 13 with her children. There was no response/communication from ED objecting to such a visit which they could not have in view of the orders of the Supreme Court,” said Rujira Banerjee’s lawyer.
“Today in gross violation of the Supreme Court’s orders, she was stopped at immigration along with her minor kids and informed that she cannot travel abroad. She was also handed over a copy of summon directing her to appear before the ED office in Kolkata on June 8. We will be moving to court as it has been a violation of SC order,” the lawyer added.
The ED claims that two companies, Leaps and Bound PVT LTD and Leaps and Bound Management Services LLP, are connected with Abhishek Banerjee and his family. These firms, the ED claims, allegedly received protection funds amounting to Rs 4.37 crore from a construction company through the accused, who are being probed in the coal smuggling case.
Abhishek Banerjee’s father, Amit Banerjee, is one of the directors of Leaps and Bound Pvt Ltd. His wife Rujira Banerjee is a director of Leap and Bound Management Services Limited along with his father.
Her lawyer said that she had informed the ED, providing her travel plan details and a copy of her tickets a few days back.
The ED lodged a case under the provisions of the PMLA based on a November 2020 FIR registered by the CBI that alleged a multi-crore coal pilferage scam related to Eastern Coalfields Ltd mines in the state’s Kunustoria and Kajora areas in and around Asansol.
Local coal operative Anup Majee is alleged to be the prime suspect in the case. The ED had claimed that the TMC MP was a beneficiary of funds obtained from this illegal trade. Banerjee has denied all charges.
Last year, the ED had questioned her in connection with a coal pilferage scam. The CBI had also questioned her in 2021 in the same case.