The Enforcement Directorate (ED), on February 19, 2019, submitted a report before the Calcutta High Court, pegging the market value of seized immovable properties of chit fund company Rose Valley at Rs 4,685.40 crores. The base value of these properties, which include hotels, land and buildings, stood at Rs 896.13 crores when these were attached since 2017, the ED report said.
The ED has also seized movable properties like bank accounts and vehicles totalling Rs 414.94 crores, the report, submitted by additional solicitor general (ASG) Kaushik Chanda, said.
The chit fund is estimated to have raised Rs 15,000 crore from investors. The ED, in its report submitted before a special bench comprising justices Joymalya Bagchi and Joy Sengupta, estimated the current value of the seized immovable assets at Rs 4,685.40 crores. The special bench was constituted by the then chief justice of the Calcutta HC, justice Manjula Chellur, in July 2016, for speedy disposal of the chit fund cases.
At least 150 matters relating to chit fund companies, including Saradha Group and Rose Valley Group, are pending before the high court.
The assets were seized as per nine provisional attachment orders, of which five were related to the ED’s Kolkata office and two each of its Bhubaneswar and Guwahati office. The seizures pertained to different companies of the Rose Valley Group.
Apart from these, cash amounting to Rs 12.7 lakhs and gold, jewellery, diamond and precious stones worth Rs 41 crores, were seized from M/s Adrija Gold Corporation, a unit of Rose Valley Group. The list has been submitted before the Asset Disposal Committee appointed by the high court in the Rose Valley matter, the nine-page report said.
The properties have been attached under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. The division bench directed the additional solicitor general to circulate the report among lawyers of all parties in the Rose Valley matter. The court directed that the matter would come up for hearing again after two weeks. Rose Valley chairman Gautam Kundu was arrested by the ED on March 25, 2015. The directorate started the probe on the basis of a SEBI complaint.
Rose Valley ponzi scam: ED attaches assets worth over Rs 2,300 crores
The Enforcement Directorate has attached assets worth over Rs 2,300 crores, including two dozen hotels and resorts, in connection with its money laundering probe in the Rose Valley ponzi scam case
March 30, 2018: Officials of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), on March 29, 2018, said that the agency has issued a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), attaching 11 resorts, nine hotels and a few other such facilities, as well as a nearly 200-acre plot and 414 land parcels spread across West Bengal, in connection with the Rose Valley ponzi case. This is one of the biggest attachment of property orders, issued by the central probe agency under the PMLA. The total worth of the attached properties is Rs 2,380 crores (market value), the agency said in a statement.
With the latest action, the total value of assets seized in this case stands at about Rs 4,200 crores. The ED had registered an FIR against the firm, its chairman Gautam Kundu and others in 2014 under the PMLA. Kundu was arrested by the agency in Kolkata in 2015. Multiple charge sheets have been filed in the courts in Kolkata and Bhubaneswar by the ED in this case. The group had allegedly floated 27 companies, for running alleged chit fund operations, out of which only half-a-dozen were active.
The agency has alleged that the firm had floated the scheme, promising inflated returns on investments between eight and 27 per cent to gullible investors in various states. The company had allegedly pledged astronomical returns to depositors on land properties and assets and bookings done in the real estate sector. The company has also been accused of making ‘cross investments’ in its various sister firms, to suppress its liabilities towards investors.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) probed the company, before the ED and the CBI registered cases against the group. According to the ED, the alleged irregularities ran into Rs 15,000 crores, including interest and penalties. In August 2017, angry depositors of Rose Valley’s various schemes had ransacked a hotel owned by the company at a prime location in Kolkata, demanding that their money be returned.