SFIO probes TMC MPís firms for fraud


The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) has begun probing two companies of Trinamool Congress MP and businessman K D Singh, who is also a close aide of TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, on suspicion that they raised money in violation of rules.

Singh is the chairman of the Alchemist Group and two of his firms ó Alchemist Capital Ltd and Alchemist Holdings Ltd ó are suspected of raising money from the public on different premises in violation of RBI and SEBI guidelines. His company website describes Singh as "Indian entrepreneur, visionary and statesman". It says the group has 11 companies with over 8,000 employees across India and an asset base of Rs 10,000 crores.

Singh entered the Rajya Sabha as a Jharkhand Mukti Morcha nominee and switched over to Trinamool. He is the party's face in north India and is also spearheading the TMC's foray into Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh. Singh is also the brain behind the high-decibel campaign by the TMC to make its presence felt in Delhi and Haryana.

Reached for his comment, Singh said he was not aware of the inquiry and the government action appeared to be political vendetta. "I am not aware of any inquiry against any of our companies. Although I have resigned from all positions in the companies, I can tell you that we are a transparent group and I am sure we will provide answers to all questions raised by any government authority," Singh told The Indian Express over phone from Himachal Pradesh.

"Having said that, it is clear that the government action definitely smacks of political vendetta. Now that the TMC has pulled out of the UPA government due to its anti-people policies, such a backlash is not surprising."

Sources told The Indian Express that following preliminary investigation on a "complaint/reference" made by RBI, which was following up on a letter sent by CPI leader and Rajya Sabha member D Raja, the Registrar of Companies (RoC), Delhi, last month concluded that there was a need to investigate thoroughly the activities and financial transactions of the two companies.

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