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Rose Valley Ponzi scam: Assets worth Rs 2,300 cr in Kolkata, Rs 2.51 cr in Patna attached

Multiple charge sheets have been filed in the courts in Kolkata and Bhubaneswar by the ED in this case; in Patna, properties of an IAS officer have been attached for his suspected involvement in the Rose Valley Ponzi scandal

Kolkata: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) today attached assets worth Rs 2,300 crore, including more than 20 hotels and resorts, in connection with its money laundering probe in the Rose Valley ponzi scam case.

Officials said the agency issued a provisional order, 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.

This is one of the single largest attachment of properties order issued by the central probe agency under the PMLA.

With the latest action, the total value of assets seized in this case stands at about Rs 4,200 crore.

The ED had registered an FIR against the firm, its Chairman Gautam Kundu and others in 2014 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (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 a total of 27 companies for running the 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% 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 firm 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) 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 crore, 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.

Rose Valley’s Bihar chapter

The ED has also attached movable and immovable properties worth Rs 2.51 crore belonging to senior IAS officer K Senthil Kumar and two companies — Sudha Super Market and Chennai Café in Patna — besides K Indira Memorial Educational Trust in Tamil Nadu. These firms and the trust are run and owned by his relatives.

Senthil Kumar is a 1996 batch IAS officer currently posted as director, employment and training in the Bihar government. He is an accused in a special vigilance case related to a scam that allegedly resulted in a loss of Rs 8.76 crore to the state exchequer. Kumar, as commissioner of the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) in 2009-10, allegedly connived with builders and other private persons and passed illegal building construction maps.

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