Sumangal Ind ordered to wind up potato purchase schemes, refund investors

As part of its attempts to clamp down on illegal collective investment schemes (CIS), Sebi has directed Sumangal Industries

As part of its attempts to clamp down on illegal collective investment schemes (CIS), Sebi has directed Sumangal Industries to wind up its ?potato purchase schemes? and refund the money to investors with returns within a period of three months.

?Sumangal Industries… and its promoters/ directors shall wind up the existing collective investment schemes and refund the money collected by the said company under the schemes with returns which are due to its investors as per the terms of offer within a period of three months from the date of this order and submit a winding up and repayment report to Sebi,? stated an order issued on Tuesday.

The regulator had issued an ad-interim ex-parte order dated April 10, 2012, against the West Bengal-based company, directing it not to collect any money from investors or to launch any scheme and also not to dispose of any of the properties. The company, thereafter, filed a writ petition in the Calcutta High Court.

Early this year, Sumangal Industries had issued an advertisement in a newspaper, which stated that ?funds collected from public shall be used to buy potatoes from the market on behalf of the investors when the price is low and preserve them in their own cold storage and later on sell them when the market price rises?. The advertisement guaranteed profits in the range of 20-100%.

The regulator, meanwhile, has said that the documents submitted by Sumangal clearly prove that the company pooled the contribution or investment with a view of receiving profits and that the contribution/investment are managed on behalf of the investors. ?It is clear that the business run by SIL is nothing but that of a CIS, as all the conditions of Section 11AA of the Sebi Act are satisfied by the scheme/ operations of SIL,? stated the Sebi order. The order further states that if the entities fail to wind up the schemes, then Sebi would register a civil/criminal case with the state government and the local police and also refer the matter to the ministry of corporate affairs.

Sebi to consult Saharas on unverified investors

Unable to verify or trace a large number of bondholders in Sahara refund case, Sebi has begun a process to consult the business conglomerate for verifying the genuineness of such investors.

Sahara group, on its part, has said that it would fully cooperate with the market regulator to verify the credentials of its over three crore bondholders. Supreme Court had asked two Sahara firms ? Sahara India Real Estate (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment (SHICL) ? to refund through Sebi more than R24,000 crore to over three crore bondholders with interest. Saharas were also asked to provide Sebi with details of these bondholders, so that Sebi could refund their money. pti

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First published on: 10-07-2013 at 04:41 IST