Kolkata: Panditiya Road complex security officer says Arpita Mukherjee used to visit, “but she hasn’t been seen here for a long time.”
A separate team of officers were tasked with raiding Mukherjee’s business establishments – three nail art salons, open between 2018 and 2021 – spread across the city. At Lake View Road, emergency service officers opened the shutter locks to gain access to the lounge, which had been closed since last Wednesday, officers said. Another team reached the second salon on Tobin Road in Baranagar, where they called a locksmith, who opened a lock. Agency officers seized documents and records at the scene after searching for nearly four hours. ED agents stayed longest at the third salon – in Patuli – where Mukherjee ran a nail art salon from the ground floor of a stand-alone building, in which she would have had an upstairs apartment superior. Emergency workers said the lounge opened last year and was operational last week, but had been closed since Friday. KMC Councilor for Ward 100, Prasenjit Das, also lives in the same apartment. Officers spoke to him for approximately three hours, in an effort to determine whether the apartment was owned or rented by Mukherjee.
An employee of the Patuli salon said it opened earlier this year and Mukherjee used to visit at least twice a week. The owner of a nearby cafe corroborated this, adding that Mukherjee used to visit his cafe and order chicken sandwiches. “She also asked for discounts,” he told TOI.
ED investigators, who had come across multiple TPS numbers and a multitude of companies in Mukherjee’s name, said they found a pattern in each of the companies she was a director of. “As his businesses continue to suffer losses and revenues have fallen, expenses have continued to soar,” a source said. She continued to acquire assets and properties, despite the indebtedness of her businesses.
Citing the example of Echhay Entertainment Pvt Ltd, ED officials said the company’s liability was Rs 2.8 crore as of March 2021. His company’s assets in the same year were Rs. nearly 1 crore rupees. Mukherjee’s company accumulated a huge loan or liability in the same year. In one year, between 2019-’20 and 2020-’21, his firm had liabilities of nearly Rs 1 coreWhile a CA firm, handling the accounts of at least three firms which had Mukherjee as a director, refused to comment, Mukherjee’s lawyer, Niladri Bhattacharyasaid: “At this time, the ED has not provided us with any documentation to support the raids of their claims. We will await more information from them once they present it to court on Wednesday. .
(entries of Dwaipyan Ghosh)