TRP scam: ED registers FIR, will investigate money laundering angle
Priya Mukherjee, COO of Republic TV, was supposed to appear before the police for questioning on Thursday and Friday, but did not make it
Days after receiving a letter from the Mumbai Police indicating a possible money laundering angle in the TRP scam, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act on Friday.
Confirming the development, ED director Sanjay Kumar Mishra said that the FIR had been registered based on Mumbai Police's case. According to police sources, a formal letter was sent to the ED two weeks after they found links indicating possible money laundering in the TRP scam. "The ED is the competent authority to investigate the matter. Hence, we intimated them after we found possible links of money laundering by TV channels to manipulate their TRP," a Crime Branch officer said.
On the other hand, Priya Mukherjee, COO of Republic TV, who was questioned by the Crime Branch for two consecutive days on Tuesday and Wednesday, was supposed to appear before the cops on Thursday and Friday as well, but she didn't turn up. Police sources said that they had found some files and chats to have been deliberately deleted from her cellphone.
Sources close to Republic TV said that a letter was sent to the Mumbai Police on behalf of Mukherjee on November 19. The letter mentions that she had to travel to Bangalore for the treatment of her father, who developed a serious medical condition. The sources added that there was no point in saying that she was untraceable or not cooperating with the investigation.
The letter sent to the police states, "Regretfully, Ms Priya Mukherjee's father, who was with her during the questioning, had a massive stroke on Wednesday evening due to which he had to be rushed to Bangalore and is currently in a hospital there."
On Friday, the Crime Branch issued strong summons to Mukherjee under Section 41 (a) of CrPC, which means the police might arrest her without a warrant. The cops have arrested 12 accused in the case so far, including Ghanshyam Singh, the distribution head of Republic TV.
Total no. of people arrested in the case so far
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