CBI to seek Centre's help to bring back Bengal coal-scam accused from Vanuatu
Kolkata, May 3 (IANS) Having made several attempts to get back Trinamool Congress leader Binay Mishra, the prime accused in coal and cattle smuggling case in West Bengal, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has decided to approach the Ministry of External Affairs to get him brought from the Pacific Ocean island country of Vanuatu.
Although his brother Bikash Mishra is currently in CBI custody, Binay Mishra somehow managed to escape to Vanuatu and is currently residing there. Highly-placed CBI sources said that as per information available with the agency, Binay Mishra has taken the citizenship of the island country and that too, in all probability, with a different identity.
As per preliminary findings of the CBI, Binay Mishra acted as chief collection agent for the money earned illegally from coal and cattle smuggling. His brother's task was to transfer the shares to the agents of the different beneficiaries.
"However, Binay Mishra has detailed knowledge of the chain of operations in the entire coal and cattle smuggling rackets as well as the actual beneficiaries from this illegal trade , many of whom are really influential people from the state. So, getting Binay Mishra in our custody is really very important," said a CBI official, who did not wish to be named.
A CBI court has already declared Binay Mishra absconding after he repeatedly avoided summons from CBI. The CBI court has also ordered that the Trinamool leader should appear before the court on or before June 20.
Binay Mishra, since the beginning, had been claiming through his counsel that he is unable to travel because of the Covid-19 pandemic situation and instead, wanted to appear for CBI questioning online. His earlier appeal for quashing of the CBI enquiry against him was already quashed by the Calcutta High Court.