Ponzi scam: Rose Valley group chairman Kundu arrested

Kolkata: Rose Valley group of companies chairman Gautam Kundu was today arrested by Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with its probe in the ponzi scam allegedly perpetrated by these consortium of companies.

Sources said Kundu was put under arrest after sleuths interrogated him at ED's Salt Lake office here for nearly five hours.

"Kundu has been arrested under the criminal charges and provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. He will produced in a court tomorrow," a source in the agency said.

The agency took the action acting on the prosecution complaint filed by SEBI against the group of companies for "unauthorised issue of debentures" and violations under the Corporate Affairs Act.

Sources said Kundu's arrest was facilitated by vacating an earlier Calcutta High Court order that no coercive action could be taken against him. The agency, however, got that order vacated from Patna High Court and also from the Calcutta High Court.

"It was felt his custodial interrogation is required to probe the case further. ED will seek his custody in court tomorrow," the source said. The ED estimates that gullible investors were duped by this group to the tune of Rs 15,484 crore.

The sources said the agency's probe has detected that Kundu was the alleged "beneficial owner" of these tainted funds generated as proceeds of crime of the chit fund scam. It had, hence, registered a criminal FIR against the firm and its owners recently.

Kundu has been interrogated by the agency earlier and this case is also being probed by the CBI now. The ED, under the stringent provisions of the PMLA, had earlier attached 2,631 bank accounts of the Rose Valley group containing Rs 295 crore. After the bank accounts were frozen, the corporate name was changed to Sun City Group and Chocolate Group.

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. It is alleged that the firm had floated the scheme by promising inflated returns on investments between 8 and 27 per cent to gullible investors in various states.

The company had allegedly promised astronomical returns to depositors on land properties and assets and bookings done in the real estate sector. It is alleged that the company had made "cross investments" in its various sister firms to suppress its liabilities towards investors.

SEBI had probed the company before ED and CBI registered cases against the group.

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