Kolkata: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probing the lottery angle in the multi- crore cattle smuggling scam in West Bengal, has been intrigued by frequent lottery awards won by Trinamool Congress’s Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal and his daughter Sukanya Mondal during a particular time period.
Initially the investigating central agency officials tracked a record of Anubrata Mondal, who is currently in judicial custody in connection with the cattle scam, winning a prize of Rs 1 crore in a lottery in January this year. As the sleuths went deeper in its probe on this point, they tracked three similar lottery award proceeds going to bank accounts of Mondal and his daughter Sukanya Mondal.
Two lottery award prizes amounting to a total of Rs 51 lakhs were transferred in two phases, the first being of Rs 25 lakhs and second being of Rs 26 lakhs to the bank account of Sukanya Mondal. A few months after that in 2019, another lottery award prize of Rs 10 lakhs was transferred to the account of Anubrata Mondal.
The CBI sleuths are of the opinion that it cannot be just a coincidence that four lottery awards had been credited to the accounts of the father and daughter within a period of little over three years.
In case of the latest lottery prize of Rs 1 crore that went in favour of Anubrata Mondal in January this year, neither the wholesaler nor the retailer of that particular ticket could recall that it was sold to Anubrata Mondal.
As 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 ticket to a wholesaler Ranajit Dhibor, who subsequently sold the lottery ticket to a retailer in Birbhum district, Munna Sheikh. The latter sold the ticket against which Mondal won a prize of Rs 1 crore.
Sources said the CBI sleuths questioned both Dhibor and Sheikh. Dhibor’s explanation was that since he was a wholesaler 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.