Money & Banking

Saradha scam: Sen blames a section of staff for siphoning of funds

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on April 25, 2013

Fallen from grace: Police personnel taking away Sudipta Sen, CMD of Saradha Group, after producing him at the Bidhan Nagar SDJM court on Thursday. — Ashoke Chakrabarty   -  Business Line

The Saradha Group has duped investors not just in West Bengal and the North East, but also in Odisha and Jharkhand.

With 160 companies under its fold, the Group had set up at least 300 plush offices in a span of four years, Sudipta Sen, CMD of the group, mentioned in his “tell all” letter to the CBI. (A copy of the letter is with Business Line.)

Lost Money Trail

“Money has not been deposited to the company at all, but the receipt is issued in the name of fake customers,” Sen mentions in the letter.

He mentions that “brokers are independent persons” and there was “no control” over them.

“There are many more staff members at District level and also at Kolkata whom we could not identify… We are not able to locate the actual depositor and identify the money…” he wrote.

Interestingly, investment certificates accessed by Business Line show that funds were collected with little regard to KYC norms.

Questionable Claims

Claiming that it was his associates who were involved in multi-level marketing under “false or dummy codes”, Sen blamed a section of his employees for including false names of depositors, thereby siphoning funds.

Sen claims that his maximum market liability should not be more that Rs 300-400 crore.

However, enquiries made by Business Line reveal that the group’s branch office at Baruipur in the suburbs of Kolkata may have raised nearly Rs 150-200 crore a year.

Sen claims that most of the collection from the branch offices was pocketed by his business associates.

Land Bank

Sen’s letter also has details of land that he acquired in States apart from Bengal.

In Jharkhand, the group acquired roughly 12 acres (47 bighas) near Bokaro.

Similar plots were acquired in Balasore and Sambalpur in Odisha. Around 60 per cent payment for the Odisha land has already been made. A rough estimate suggests that land in these areas is worth a few crores.

In Bengal, the company has land at the outskirts of Kolkata that include Madhyamgram, Pailan, Joka, Jagulia (North 24 Parganas), Frazerganj, Baruipur and other North Bengal districts like Malda. Market sources suggest that the land bank in Bengal is worth around Rs 100 crore if not more.

Sen claims to have no knowledge of the exact value of his land bank but maintains that “all deeds are in six sealed trunks”, kept in his Kolkata office.

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Published on April 25, 2013
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