New Delhi/Kolkata: Armed with inputs from Enforcement Directorate, CBI on Wednesday carried out searches at 43 locations across the country against chit fund company Rose Valley even as it plans to call TMC MP Tapas Paul for questioning in the case.
The Rose Valley company is alleged to have raised over Rs 10,000 crore from its investors which is five times more than the total money raised by the Saradha group of companies, the sources said.
The ED under the stringent provisions of the anti-money laundering law attached 2,631 bank accounts of the Rose Valley group containing Rs 295 crore.
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 such astronomical returns to depositors by promising "enhanced returns" 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.
The agency action comes on information provided by the ED, which has been restrained by the Calcutta High Court from carrying out any action the Rose Valley.
Sources in the Finance Ministry said here on Wednesday that documents and other records showing alleged irregularities have been provided by the ED based on which CBI carried out searches today which included the residence of Tapas Pal.
CBI spokesperson said searches were carried out at 27 locations of the company in West Bengal besides seven places in Tripura, one each in Odisha, Assam, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Tamil Nadu.
During the search operations, CBI sources said they have recovered some incriminating documents which will require clarifications from company’s promoters and former promoters which include Pal, the sources claimed.
The official said besides residence of Pal, who was in the past a director of two Rose Valley group companies, the residence of Rose Valley chairman Gautam Kundu and managing director Shibomoy Datta were searched during the operation on Wednesday.
Residential premises of the company's directors including Abir Kundu, Ramlal Goswami and Ashok Saha were also searched, the official said.
In Agartala, DSP of Tripura Police Rajendra Datta said, "A CBI team led by DSP L K Shalu and 25 officers have conducted raids in seven offices of Rose Valley Group in Tripura to collect documents. No one has been arrested."
Congress MLA R Gopal Roy raised the issue in the state assembly and sought a statement from Chief Minister Manik Sarkar on the raids.
The CM however said he was not aware about the raids.
The Tripura government had referred 37 cases relating to non-banking finance companies to CBI in 2013, but it took up only five cases....