The Enforcement Directorate today said it has attached assets worth Rs 200 crore of a Kolkata-based company under the anti-money laundering law for allegedly perpetrating a multi-crore ponzi scam that duped investors in various states.
The federal agency said it has attached a total of 103 immovable properties like land plots, flats, factories, hotels, an amusement park, a tea estate, shops and Rs 1.77 crore in 15 bank accounts registered in the name of 16 different firms of the Basil International Limited (BIL).
These assets are located in Assam, West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Tripura and Maharashtra.
A provisional order for attachment of these assets, worth Rs 200 crore, has been issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said in a statement.
The agency had filed a criminal case against the BIL group on the basis of a 2015 Central Bureau of Investigation agency (CBI) FIR and a subsequent charge sheet.
The ED case has been registered against the BIL and others for "cheating common people by propagating and selling illegal schemes and by promising huge and unsustainable returns also known as ponzi scheme", it said.
A senior official said the volume of this alleged chit-fund or ponzi scam is about Rs 3,500 crore.
A probe found that the "funds were fraudulently collected by selling illegal schemes through a chain of agents located in these states".
"These schemes were sold not only on the identity of the BIL but also in the name of many other companies like Vamshi Chemicals Limited, Nixcil Pharmaceuticals and Specialties Ltd and Basil Express Ltd," it said.
The funds collected through the schemes were illegally diverted by creating a web of over 60 shell or bogus companies, the ED alleged.
"Scrutiny of the accounts maintained by these companies lead to trail the proceeds of the crime," it added.