Govt gets SFIO probe report on Saradha scam; prosecution soon

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New Delhi, Sep 9: Completing its over a-year-long probe into Saradha scam, the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) has submitted its final investigation report to the government, which may soon start prosecution proceedings for numerous serious violations found during investigations.

The scam, wherein lakhs of investors in West Bengal and neighbouring states were defrauded of thousands of crores through illegal money pooling activities, came to light early last year and has also had its political ramifications.

Sources said that the final report, submitted by SFIO to the Corporate Affairs Ministry, has listed violations of many provisions of the companies law by various entities. The Ministry is looking into the report and prosecution proceedings are expected to start soon under Companies Act, they added.

According to sources, the findings of the SFIO probe are also being shared with CBI, which has also been probing the case, while matters pertaining to collective investment schemes are being referred to capital markets regulator Sebi (Securities and Exchange Board of India) for further action.

Sebi had passed an order against Saradha Realty in April last year, soon after massive protests by public investors began in West Bengal.

The company was asked by Sebi to refund the investors' money, among other strictures. In the wake of public protests, the Ministry also asked SFIO in April 2013 to probe the case.

The agency, which looks into white collar crimes and violations of companies law, investigated more than 60 companies in this regard.

The probe agency had questioned many people including suspended Trinamool Congress leader Kunal Ghosh.

Saradha Group chief Sudipta Sen is behind the bars. An interim report was submitted by SFIO in September 2013.

PTI

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