Hyderabad: A consolidation of the recent chit fund scams shows that the total amount that the public has lost in the various schemes stands at about Rs 1.2-1.4 lakh crore. A total of 350 scams have been reported across 17 states, and 15 crore families, primarily low-budget investors, have been impacted.
The most outrageous of all chit fund scams are the PACL scam, the Rose Valley scam, followed by the Sahara and Sarada ponzi scam, into which a CBI inquiry is underway. The latest of all happens to be the IMA Jewellers scam of Bengaluru, wherein the managing director absconded with investors' money. All such cases have been taken up by either the CBI or the ED for investigation.
While such cases ultimately lead either to the liquidation of the company or attachment of properties, victim investors usually end up losing their money. Affected families are now planning to take up the issue with the Prime Minister’s office.
Major Priyadarshi Chaudhary (retired), national coordinator of victims in the PACL scam, said, “Over 6 crore families lost nearly Rs 50,000 crore in total in the PACL scam — which happens to be the biggest of them all. Our estimates show that between 12 and 15 crore families of investors have lost up to Rs 1.2 to 1.4 lakh crore in around 350 Ponzi schemes.”
“He said investigation in the Rose Valley case has revealed that a huge amount of money was paid to politicians to run the scheme smoothly, thus exposing a political nexus. All coordinators fighting against the scams come under the same umbrella as they are fighting for the poor investors. It wil; be taken up with the Prime Ministers office,” Maj. Chaudhary (retd) said.
A former CBI director who did not want to be quoted said, "The modus operandi in such scams involves offering abnormally high returns on investments or land at throwaway prices, while in reality, the companies are engaging in international money laundering, cross-investment in sister organisations, and political nexus.”
Coupled with regulatory failures, millions of people end up investing their life's savings expecting high returns but lose everything, he said.