Rs 45,000 crore ponzi scam busted: CBI

NEW DELHI (TIP): The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on February 27 busted a massive ponzi scam of Rs 45,000 crore by two Delhi-based private companies of a group, raising money from over five crore gullible investors in the garb of sale and development of agricultural land and booked their managing directors and six directors.

A series of raids were conducted over the last five days at the office premises and residences of the directors and other suspects at places in Delhi, Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana, which led to recovery of huge records and data relating to deposits from public and their misutilisation and diversion of funds, besides other incriminating documents.

A CBI spokesman said only after preliminary analysis of documents the agency came to know of the enormity of the scam. Initially, the investigators did not realise the gravity of the scam when they carried out the probe in the orders of the Supreme Court into the allegation of the companies taking deposits from public through their ponzi scheme promising land until they saw the mindboggling figures in some of the seized laptops.

Then only they realised that their earlier estimates about the size of the scam were just a tip of the iceberg. The agency has converted the Preliminary Enquiry registered on the Apex Court’s orders to register the case against the managing directors and promoters of the two companies.

The case has been registered against PACL managing director Sukhdev Singh, PGF managing director Nirmal Singh Bhangoo and six other directors of these companies. In Ponzi schemes, returns are given to investors from the money collected from other depositors in a pyramid-like structure.

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The CBI spokesperson said the inquiry found prima-facie evidence of said companies of the group of Delhi having raised investments by issuing bogus land allotment letters to induce the investors. She said it was revealed only when one of the companies, on being directed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court to wind up the scheme and refund the investors, that a similar fraudulent scheme was operated under the name of the second company of the group.

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