Sebi attaches 134 properties of Saradha Group to recover Rs 774 cr

To recover the investors' money, collected illegally by Saradha Realty, regulator Sebi has ordered attachment of 134 properties of the West Bengal-based firm and its chief Sudipta Sen to recover Rs 774.3 crore along with other dues and the applicable interest.

The properties being attached include land parcels, buildings, flats, resorts, as also furniture, televisions, refrigerators, generators and computers along with all other "movable assets" held by the two defaulters.

Most of these assets are located in West Bengal, as per the attachment order wherein Sebi has also asked Saradha Realty India Ltd and Sudipta Sen to provide full details of all their movable and immovable properties.

Sebi had first passed order against Saradha in April 2013 after a massive ponzi scheme like fraud came to light. Sebi had ordered Kolkata-based Saradha Realty India to close all its collective schemes and refund the money collected from investors within three months. Besides, the company and its chief were also barred from the markets.

In further action, Sebi in June this year attached various bank and demat accounts of the two defaulters, but funds available in those accounts were not sufficient for recovery of the dues.

The recovery proceedings were initiated on June 4, 2015, Saradha Realty India Ltd and its Managing Director Sudipta Sen for their failure to pay a sum of Rs 774.3 crore (as a partial amount) "along with returns due to investors, along with further interest, all costs, charges and expenses incurred in respect of all the proceedings taken for recovery".

Sebi said the defaulters failed to pay the amount and did not even respond to the recovery notices.

The regulator said it has learnt that the defaulters are in possession of certain properties and they may dispose, transfer or alienate the assets to obstruct or delay the recovery of investors' money and therefore it was ordering the attachment.

Giving a list of all such properties, Sebi said that "all persons are hereby prohibited from taking any benefit under such disposal, transfer, alienation or charge in respect of the properties mentioned above, which stand attached in execution of the Recovery Certificate".

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has attached 120 land parcels in West Bengal, while other 14 assets include properties of Saradha Landmark Cement, properties of Lincoln High School, flats and resorts. That apart, Sebi has also attached furniture and other fixture.

The regulator has directed the two defaulters to furnish the complete details of all these properties in a prescribed format to Sebi within two weeks.

Sebi's April 2013 order followed an investigation launched about three years before that, after a reference was received from the director economic offences investigation cell, government of West Bengal in April 2010.

Sebi found that the company was collecting money from public in the range of Rs 10,000 to Rs 100,000 for 15 months to 120 months, with a promise of returns of 12-24 per cent.

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