Bundles of Indian twenty rupee banknotes (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg) 

CBI Searches 22 Locations In West Bengal In Ponzi Scam Cases

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday carried out searches at 22 locations in West Bengal including the offices and residential premises of promoters and directors of New Land Agro Industries, one of the accused companies in a ponzi scam cases probed by the agency, officials said.

The search operations, which began in the morning, was spread in seven districts -- Bankura, Hooghly, Howrah, Bardhaman, Jalpaiguri, Paschim Medinipur, Purba Medinipur -- and Kolkata, they said. The firm is accused of swindling Rs 140 crore from gullible investors who deposited their savings in the schemes of the company upon being promised lucrative returns, they said.

The investors were not repaid their money at the time of maturity, they said. The apex court had directed the agency to probe all the companies allegedly involved in the ponzi scam then being probed by a Special Investigation Team of West Bengal police, the officials said. It was alleged in the complaint that over 250 agents, who had deposited approximately Rs 1 crore each, were cheated by the promoters and directors of the agency by promising them lucrative return.

The agency had booked the company and its Chairman Dipankar Dey, Managing Directors Koushik Roy, Pinku Kumar Das, Sourabh Dey, Prasenjit Sarkar and Kartick Charan besides CEO Sourabh Dutta, and others including Arup Kumar Ghosh, Ashish Ghosh, Arun Das and Suraj Jain, they said.

Ponzi scam in West Bengal, Odisha and North East India was unearthed after deposit schemes run by Saradha Group failed to give returns to investors, they said. Its chairman and managing director Sudipto Sen was arrested from Jammu and Kashmir by the West Bengal police, they said. The scam which came to be known as Saradha Scam showed glaring collusion of ponzi scheme runners and politicians prompting the Supreme Court to hand over the probe to the CBI.

Bloomberg Quint

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