TMC leader only gave Rs 7 lakh out of promised 83 lakh: Lottery winner

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Following the investigation for money laundering through lottery, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) questioned the original winner, Sheikh Noor Ali, on Thursday.

According to Ali, Anubrata Mondal, a leader of the Trinamool Congress, offered 83 lakhs but only paid seven lakhs in exchange for a lottery ticket with a first-place prize of 1 crore in December 2021.

Ali was found at Birbhum’s Baro Simulia village after an extensive manhunt by agency officials. He refused to talk to the media, but his father “Kotai Sheikh” revealed that Mondal’s men only paid Rs 7 lakh in cash and took away the ticket.

Kotai said, “They threatened to kill us if we did not part with it. They gave my son only ₹7 lakh in cash and promised to deposit the remaining amount into our bank account, but the money never came.”

“My son and I fled the village and went into hiding after the incident. We are scared. They may target us now. I don’t know the identity of these men,” he added.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is also investigating the lottery company operating in West Bengal but is actually based in Nagaland due to the fact that not only Mondal but his family members have also won the first prize from the same lottery.

A CBI officer who spoke under the condition of anonymity stated that according to documents, Mondal won the top prize in a draw that took place on December 7, 2021. In relation to ticket No. 89H54045, which cost 6, he was proclaimed the winner of one crore.

The lottery company also published Mondal as a winner in a newspaper advertisement in January, to which Mondal denied having won to local media, saying, “I am not aware of any such thing.”

Previously the CBI also interrogated lottery dealer Sheikh Ainul, sub-dealer Rajib Dhibar, and retailer Sheikh Munna regarding the case. Another lottery distributor named “Bapi Ganguly” was also questioned on Thursday.

Ganguly told the media that he did not have any role in all this saying, “I came to know that Anubrata Mondal had purchased a lottery ticket from someone for ₹83 lakh. He called me to check whether the ticket was genuine. I did not ask the real prize winner to sell it to him. I did not sell the ticket in the first place. It was sold by a retailer. I have no role in any of this.”

According to the CBI, Sheikh Munna also said that he does not remember selling the ticket to Mondal. He said, “I sell tickets in local villages. I can’t remember who bought it but it was certainly not Anubrata Mondal.”

Suvendu Adhikari, a leader of the opposing party, also sent a letter to Union home minister Amit Shah regarding the money laundering by TMC members and State BJP president Sukanta Majumdar has asked for investigations earlier by agencies.

No comments from TMC have been released regarding Thursday’s findings by CBI.