In one of the single largest attachment of properties orders issued by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the central probe agency attached assets worth Rs 2,300 cr, including two dozen hotels and resorts, in connection with its money laundering probe in the Rose Valley ponzi scam case. With the latest action, the total worth of assets seized in this case stands at about Rs 4,200 cr.
Officials said the agency issued a provisional order yesterday, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), attaching 11 resorts, nine hotels and few other such facilities, a plot of about 200 acres and 414 land parcels spread across West Bengal.
The ED had registered an FIR against the firm, its Chairman Gautam Kundu and others in 2014 under the PMLA, and Kundu was arrested by the agency in Kolkata in 2015. The ED has filed multiple charge sheets in this case in different courts spread across Kolkata and Bhubaneswar.
The group had allegedly floated a total of 27 companies for running chit fund operations out of which only half-a-dozen were active. These chit funds promised inflated returns on investments between eight and 27 per cent to gullible investors in various states. The company offered astronomical returns to depositors on land properties and assets and bookings done in the real estate sector.
The company has also been found accused of making "cross investments" in its various sister firms to suppress its liabilities towards investors.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had probed the company before the ED and the CBI registered cases against the group. The ED has pegged the total volume of the alleged irregularities at Rs 15,000 cr, including interest and penalties.
In August last year, angry depositors of Rose Valley's various schemes had ransacked a hotel owned by the company at a prime location in the city, demanding their money back.