Saradha ponzi case: ED seizes assets worth Rs 140 cr
Widening its probe into the multi-crore Saradha chitfund scam, the Enforcement Directorate has issued summons to numerous entities even as it has attached assets worth Rs 140 crore of individuals and firms on money laundering charges.
The central probe agency has also issued a notice asking general public ‘to furnish information and particulars of properties, both movable and immovable as well as bank accounts, in the state of West Bengal and other places, if any, related to Saradha group known to them, with specific details’ to
The agency’s zonal office in Kolkata has recently issued summons to close to 15 people involved in the funds transactions of the scam that was being perpetrated largely in West Bengal, Odisha and Assam and came to the fore early last year after duped investors raised their voice of grievance.
The agency has asked those involved in the case, including some sitting and former MPs and their family members, to present themselves or send their authorised representatives for recording of their statements under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) before April 25.
The notices come in the backdrop of the agency, last week, attaching Rs 105.62 crore assets of various entities involved in the case including Saradha Director Sudipta Sen and his wife Piyali.
It had attached Rs 34 crore worth of assets earlier in the same probe.
ED registered a money laundering case last year taking cognisance of the three state police departments.
The agency has till now issued attachment orders on all equity shares of all 224 companies of the Saradha group, insurance policies in the name of Sen and his wife, numerous land properties and plots, 390 bank accounts and equity shares of a TV channel run by the beleaguered group.
The agency has also issued an advisory that no one should ‘transact’ in these attached assets without seeking permission of the agency.
The large-scale chit fund scam in West Bengal involving the Saradha Group involves around a total sum of Rs 2,460 crore with 80 per cent of the depositors’ monies still remaining unpaid, as per a joint investigation report of the ED and the West Bengal police.
The report stated that Sen was in ‘total control’ of all deposits made by his group companies which are under the scanner for having perpetrated the alleged fraud.
Four companies of the Saradha Group, the report said, used to mobilise money through three schemes ? ‘fixed deposit’, ‘recurring deposit’ and ‘monthly income deposit’ ? which lured innocent depositors with promises of either ‘landed property or a foreign tour’ as incentive returns.