SFIO submits interim report on Saradha scam

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 28 2013, 23:48pm hrs
The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) has submitted to government an interim report on alleged fraudulent money pooling schemes being run by 54 entities, including Kolkata-based Saradha group.

The probe, ordered in April, came in the wake of alleged defrauding of investors' money worth thousands of crores by Saradha group.

"We have received one interim report (from the SFIO) on the 54 companies," Corporate Affairs Minister Sachin Pilot told PTI.

The Minister, however, said there are difficulties in getting data about these companies since they have not been very forthcoming in sharing information.

A special task force of the SFIO, which comess under the Corporate Affairs Ministry, is conducting the investigations.

There were public protests over the Saradha case, which came to be known as 'chit funds scam' in West Bengal and other Eastern and North Eastern states, even though the suspected entities were not actually registered as chit funds.

Apart from Saradha group firms, SFIO is probing entities from various other groups including Rose Valley, Icore E-Services and Sunshine India Land Developers.

Fourteen 14 Saradha group entities including Saradha Realty India, Saradha Agro Development, Saradha Exports, Saradha Construction Company and Saradha Garden Resorts and Hotels are under the scanner.

Besides, nine entities from the Sunshine India Land Developers group, 11 from the Icore E-Services Ltd group and 19 from Rose Valley group are being investigated.

The Corporate Affairs Ministry, while announcing the probe in April, had said the decision was taken in view of the larger public interest involved in such cases, "and concerns regarding misuse/laundering by such companies of the ill-gotten wealth and the possibility that the promoters of these companies may strip these companies".

Meanwhile, an Inter-Ministerial Group is working on comprehensive set of guidelines to tackle the mushrooming illegal money-pooling activities or ponzi schemes.