Coal smuggling case: Abhishek Banerjee’s sister-in-law appears before ED

Abhishek Banerjee

Maneka Gambhir, the in-law of Abhishek Banerjee, the MP and National General Secretary of the Trinamool Congress (TMC), arrived at the Enforcement Directorate (ED) headquarters on Monday after being called by the investigation team in relation to the coal smuggling case.

Earlier on Saturday, ED authorities stopped Gambhir at the airport in Kolkata and forbade her from boarding an aircraft to Bangkok. According to sources, Gambhir received a summons to return home and participate in the investigation on Monday. The ED has summoned Gambhir for the third time.

She had already appealed the ED summons in the Calcutta High Court, and as a result, she was given permission to appear in the ED’s office at the Central Government Office (CGO) near Salt Lake on the northern suburbs of Kolkata rather than in New Delhi.

On Saturday, Gambhir arrived to Kolkata’s Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport to board a flight to Bangkok. However, as she approached the immigration desk, she was stopped and led to a different area.

She was disclosed to ED officials by immigration officials because Ganbhir had received a Look Out Circular (LOC) from the federal investigation agency. She was not given permission to go to Bangkok by ED officials. The Assistant Enforcement Officer gave her a summons to appear before him on Monday. Gambhir then departed for her home.

In November 2020, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a case to take over the investigation into the coal smuggling scheme.

The ED was later brought into the investigation to look into the money laundering angle.