Assets & Connections: What is CBI Claiming in its Cattle Smuggling Probe?

CBI investigators allege that Anubrata Mondal would purchase assets in the name of his close aides and relatives.

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Assets & Connections: What is CBI Claiming in its Cattle Smuggling Probe?
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Trinamool Congress strongman Anubrata Mondal was remanded to 14-day judicial custody by a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Wednesday in connection with 2020 cattle smuggling case. He will now be housed at the Asansol correctional home until 7 September. The Enforcement Directorate is now seeking to question both Mondal and his bodyguard Saigal Hossain.

The lawyers representing CBI have repeatedly argued that if Mondal Hossain are released, they could, "influence witnesses and tamper with evidence if granted bail." It is with this argument that they have pleaded for an extension of Mondal and Hossain’s custody, terming them as “highly influential people.”

Meanwhile Mondal’s lawyers have repeatedly cited his ill-health as the reason that he should be granted bail. On Wednesday, his lawyers said that Mondal is ready to cooperate with the CBI in whatever way possible if given bail and will not go to Birbhum.


This comes shortly after Rajesh Chakraborty, the special CBI judge hearing the case complained that he received a “threat letter” which aimed at implicating his family members in drug cases if Mondal is not released on bail soon. Mondal, during the hearing, pleaded with the judge for a CBI probe into the matter.

What Has the CBI Investigation Revealed So Far?

The CBI has launched a multi-faceted investigation into the alleged cattle smuggling scam. According to CBI sources, Enamul Haque, the so-called kingpin behind smuggling of cattle across the Indo-Bangladesh border, and his men, were allegedly protected and give safe passage by Mondal, and Vikas Mishra, brother of absconding TMC leader Vinay Mishra.

It must be mentioned here that Vinay Mishra, who is reportedly a close associate of AITC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee, is accused in the coal pilferage scam. Banerjee and his wife have been summoned for interrogation by the ED on several occasions in relation to this case.


The CBI has also alleged that Hossain used to collect the kickback on behalf of Mondal. Mondal allegedly used this money to buy properties namely rice mills and crushing units in the names of his close ones. The CBI chargesheet alleged that Hossain had earned over 26 lakh rupees between 2015-2022.

According to the CBI investigation, Hossain purchased 35 properties (seven in Bolpur, eight in Birbhum and three in Bidhannagar) between 2015 and 2022. Investigators have also revealed that Hossain used to contact Haque through his cell phone. Mondal has denied using Hossain's cellphone to make any calls.

The CBI has seized documents of the properties and tallying them with the existing records. The CBI has also sent letters to 17 banks in Birbhum seeking details of transactions of 18 accounts between 2015-2019, which is when the scam allegedly took place.

The CBI have raided two rice mills – Shiva Shambhu Mill and Bhole Bom Rice Mill. According to CBI sources, Anubrata Mondal’s daughter Sukanya Mondal and close aide Bidyut Gayen were business partners in the rice mill. Investigation has revealed that the said rice mills were enlisted for rice procurement from the state food and supplies department.


The raid at Bhole Bom Rice Mill saw the agency find five vehicles including two which are priced above 30 lakhs. The mill was purchased in the name of Mondal’s late wife, and daughter in 2013. One of the cars was owned by a businessman Prabir Mondal.

Mondal and another businessman claimed that he had given the car to Anubrata to secure a state government tender. He also claims to have paid Rs five crores to Hossain. He had asked Mondal to return the car and the money he allegedly failed to secure the tender, which Mondal didn’t return. The two businessmen have filed a complaint with the CBI.

On 21 August, CBI carried out a search at the Bolpur residence of Gayen. Sources revealed that Gayen, a group-D employee at the Bolpur municipality owns at least four houses and has several plots to his name. He has been working as a driver but holds the position of director in two private companies. Gayen was not present at his residence during the search.

The central agency investigators have said that Mondal would purchase assets in the name of his close ones. They further mentioned that the earnings of said aides are not enough to own the assets.

The CBI has also frozen fixed deposits of Rs. 16.97 crores which allegedly belong to Mondal and his family.

Sukanya Mondal Under Scanner Too

Mondal’s daughter Sukanya and five other relatives were directed by the Calcutta High Court to appear before it after it was alleged that they were given jobs as schoolteachers without having cleared the Teachers' Eligibility Test (TET). This comes amidst another senior TMC MLA Partha Chatterjee being investigated for his involvement in a multi-million rupees ‘SSC Scam’.

It was also alleged than Sukanya would never visit Kalikapur Primary School where she was employed and that the register was brought to her house to sign. While she appeared before court, she didn’t have to furnish any documents.


Denying an allegation that his daughter Sukanya Mondal was appointed to a primary school without having cleared Teachers' Eligibility Test (TET), arrested TMC leader Anubrata Mondal on Thursday, 18 August, claimed that she has passed the exam and has a document to prove it.

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