Govt cracks down on Ponzi schemes, Saradha Group

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Apr 28 2013, 06:14am hrs
The government said on Saturday several of its investigating wings like Sebi, RBI, I-T department and Enforcement Directorate have begun a crackdown on Ponzi schemes and have initiated action against the Saradha Group under various laws, including the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India ( Sebi ) has launched prosecution in 59 cases of collective investment scheme (CIS), while the corporate affairs ministry is also investigating the Saradha Group for violation of various laws, the finance ministry said in a release.

Besides, the Enforcement Directorate has also registered a case of suspected money laundering activities against this Kolkata-based group and others, including its chief Sudipta Sen.

Promoters of such companies are allegedly siphoning the monies collected and are using a sales network comprising local persons who are offered hefty commissions, in a manner similar to Ponzi schemes, the release said.

The ministry said the department of financial services (DFS) had also written to all the chief secretaries of state governments in July 2012, requesting the states to strengthen the coordination mechanism between their regulatory institutions like the economic offences wing of the state police and central agencies such as RBI, Sebi, Registrar of Companies, revenue department and Enforcement Directorate.

The RBI has also been addressed in this regard in February 2013 and the matter is currently under examination by them, the finance ministry release said.

The corporate affairs ministry has ordered inspection of the books of accounts and other records of 31 companies. Investigations were also ordered in some matters by the serious fraud investigation office last year.

In the matter of 42 companies, Registrar of Companies, West Bengal, has issued notices calling for information and explanations relating to collection of monies by those firms.

In full force

* Market regulator Sebi prosecuting in 59 cases of collective investment scheme

* Corporate affairs ministry investigating Saradha Group

* ED registers case of suspected money laundering activities against Saradha