In the letter, to SFIO, the markets regulator has asked MCA to take an action against PACL's agents who are still collecting money from investors and expedite the proceedings to wind up the company operations
Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has upped its ante against Pearl Agro Corporation (PACL) and recently wrote to Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) to hasten the winding up process of the company, says a report.
According to a report from Business Standard, SEBI, on 14th November wrote the letter to MCA alerting the ministry that in spite of passing an order against the company and barring it from raising any more funds from the public, the entity was still collecting money from the public.
After receiving tips from market participants that PACL was still operating and was offering investors the dubious scheme in some parts of the country, the regulator conducted its own investigation.
“During our survey and investigation we realized that the company has several agents in areas of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Ahmedabad that are still peddling the scheme,” a source told the newspaper.
In the letter, to the Serious Fraud and Investigative Office (SFIO) of MCA, the markets regulator has asked the ministry to take an action against these agents and expedite the proceedings to wind up the operations of the company.
The reference from SEBI on the case has also been forwarded to the finance ministry and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). CBI has been directed to conclude their investigation in the matter in a timely fashion.
Additionally, SEBI is also likely to issue an advisory to investors to caution them against the scheme.
Earlier in August, SEBI had passed an order against PACL, asking it to refund around Rs50,000 crore raised from 58.5 million customers within three months, a deadline that recently got over.
In SEBI’s 92-page order, the total amount mobilised by the company, “by its own admission" comes to a whopping Rs49,100 crore and “this figure could have been even more if PACL would have provided the details of the funds mobilised during the period of April 1, 2012 to February 25, 2013.”
SEBI order states that PACL operated a land investment scheme, which qualified as a collective investment scheme, without proper registration.
The order also mentions that investors failed to receive any land even after years of investments into schemes offered by PACL.
In February this year, CBI registered a first information report (FIR) against Nirmal Singh Bhangoo, promoter of PACL and PACL as it found that the company was running an alleged scam worth Rs45,000 crore. PACL ran a collective investment scheme (CIS) under the garb of sale and development of agricultural land.
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