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National News Sourced Wired

STF constituted in SFIO to investigate affairs of chit-fund companies

New Delhi/Kolkata, Apr. 25 (ANI): In wake of the Saradha Chit Fund scam, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has decided to set up a Special Task Force in the Serious Fraud Investigations Office (SFIO) to investigate the affairs of such companies.

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has taken note of the misuse by certain “Chit Fund Companies” who have raised huge sums of money from the public at large,

The state governments are the appropriate authorities for regulation of such chit Fund companies/Schemes under the Chit Funds Act 1982.

However, in view of the larger public interest involved in these cases, and concerns regarding misuse/laundering by such companies of the ill gotten wealth, and the possibility that the promoters of these companies may strip these companies, it has been decided by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to set up a Special Task Force in the Serious Fraud Investigations Office (SFIO) to investigate the affairs of such companies.

Accordingly, all investigations into such companies are being entrusted to SFIO with immediate effect.

The Task Force will also co-ordinate with other law enforcement agencies and regulators wherever required.

Meanwhile, a Kolkata sub-divisional magistrate’s court today placed Ponzi king Sudipto Sen and two other accused in 14 days police custody for their role in the perpetrating the Saradha Chit Fund scam.

Media reports said the bail pleas of the three swindlers had been rejected and that they were charged for fraud and criminal breach of trust under Sections 406 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

It was also revealed that SEBI had warned West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of a chit fund crisis taking place in her state in advance.

Earlier, Sen and two of his associates were produced before the court in Salt Lake City this afternoon.

The three were brought back to Kolkata last night on transit remand after police arrested them from Kashmir last Monday.

With the Trinamool Congress (TMC) Government in West Bengal drawing sharp criticism from the opposition parties over the alleged fraud by collapsed chit fund company Saradha Group, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has announced Rs. 5,000 crore relief for the victims.

“Some people trying to defame me and my government. Action be taken against TMC MPs if found guilty,” said Banerjee, and added that she is ready to call a special assembly session to enact a special law on chit-funds.

“Why didn’t RBI and other central agencies act?” she asked.

Banerjee, who has denied that her party, the Trinamool Congress, encouraged or exploited Saradha Realty India Managing Director Sudipto Sen, said the funds will be given to the small and medium sized investors.

“Compensation to be funded partly by a cess of 10 percent on cigarettes,” she said.

Banerjee had earlier announced the setting up of an inquiry commission headed by a former Calcutta High Court judge to probe the chit-fund scam. She had also announced the setting up of a Special Investigation Team led by the Director-General of Police to probe the scam.

Banerjee urged people to register their complaints with the inquiry commission that would have four members, including a retired IPS officer, one person from the corporate sector and renowned economists. (ANI)