Saradha scam: CBI searches 30 locations

Shishir Sinha New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

Office, residence of former Union Minister also searched

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has carried out searches at 30 locations, including 22 in Kolkata, four in Delhi, three in Guwahati and one in Odisha in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam. This included office and residence of a former Union Minister.

Searches are being conducted in Kolkata, Delhi, Guwahati and Odisha. These included offices and residences of former Union Minister Matang Singh and his wife Manoranjana Singh, ex-Indian Police Service officer Rajat Majumdar, an official of East Bengal Club Debrata Sarkar, besides residence of Saradha Group Chief Sudipto Sen.

The CBI has so far registered 47 cases, including three in West Bengal and 44 in Odisha in the alleged chit fund scam on the directions of the Supreme Court.

The group mobilised a huge sum of money across West Bengal, Odisha and Assam promising returns of up to 40 per cent. However, it went bust in April last year.

Sen was arrested by the West Bengal Police in April 2013, while the Enforcement Directorate nabbed his son this April. The issue took a political turn when a senior leader of Trinamool Congress was arrested. Later the Supreme Court handed over this case to the CBI, considering amount of money involved and the geographical spread of the people affected.

This issue was also debated by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance which talked about regulator overlap and gaps resulting in the rise of ponzi schemes and illegal deposit schemes. Based on the views of the committee, the Government empowered the market regulator SEBI to take action against such schemes.

A Bill in this regard has been approved by both houses of Parliament.

One of the provisions of the new Act prescribes mandatory registration of money pooling scheme amounting to ₹100 crore or more.

PTI added that the CBI has formed a Special Investigating Team (SIT) headed by Joint Director Rajeev Singh to also probe the role of Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and RBI.

“Investigation conducted so far puts a question mark on the role of regulatory authorities like SEBI, Registrar of Companies and officials of RBI within whose respective jurisdictions and areas of operation the scam not only took birth but flourished unhindered,” an apex court Bench headed by Justice TS Thakur had said in its order.

Published on August 14, 2014

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