The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested 11 more persons, including businessmen and Pearls group employees, in connection with Rs 60,000 crore Pearls Ponzi Scheme case.
"Chander Bhushan Dhillon, Prem Seth, Manmohan Kamal Mahajan, Mohanlal Sehajpal, Kanwaljit Singh Toor are the employees of the Pearls group who have been placed under arrest. Apart from them we arrested Delhi, Chandigarh and Kolkata-based businessmen Praveen Kumar Agarwal, Mannoj Kumar Jain, Akash Agarwal, Anil Kumar Khemka, Subhash Agarwal and Rajesh," said a CBI official.
The official said that the CBI had earlier registered a preliminary enquiry on the directions of the Supreme Court against Pearls group, which had allegedly collected around Rs 60,000 crore from around 50mn (million) investors all across the country by illegally operating different investment schemes, without any statutory approval, with an intention to cheat them.
The accused had given land guarantee to the investors to lure them. The people were told that they would be getting an interest of 12.5% if they would invest. They were offered free accidental insurance and income-tax free maturity on their investments. The accused had also promised the investors that the value of the land that they were purchasing would multiply fast.
Later, on the basis of the enquiry a case was registered against Ms PGF Limited, Ms PACL Limited, Nirmal Singh Bhangoo and other directors of these two flagship companies of the Pearls group.
During investigation, Nirmal Singh Bhangoo, Sukhdev Singh, Subrata Bhattacharya and Gurmeet Singh were arrested in January 2016. Later in April 2016, CBI filed its first charge-sheet against them.
CBI had identified properties of Nirmal Singh Bhangoo worth Rs1.85 lakh crore in the current market rate across the country. The accused had also invested in Australian companies.
Australian cricketer Bret Lee was a brand ambassador for the Pearl Group and the IPL team 'Kings XI Punjab' was also cosponsored by Pearl group.
To investigate the role of other accused in this multi-crore financial scam, which had adversely affected the interests of millions of investors, further investigation of the case was continued.
This morning, CBI arrested 11 more persons for their alleged involvement in the case. The Enforcement Directorate is also probing a case of PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) in this connection.
Further probe in the matter is on.
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