Saradha scam: CBI suspects brokers duped investors too
NEW DELHI: The CBI, which has been probing the multi-crore Saradha chit-fund scam, suspects that there could be several investors whose deposits were gobbledup by brokers and never reached the chit-fund operators they were working for.
In what could be a case of scam within a scam, the CBI is examining claims made by a few officials of an accused firm that several brokers, who were allegedly not controlled by them, had pocketed the deposits they collected from depositors instead of submitting to the employers, said an agency source.
“A few top functionaries of an accused firm claimed during their examination that there were groups of brokers who kept no correct account of cash deposits or the depositors and gave them fake receipts to fool them,” said the source.
The source said that such depositors stand a slim chance of getting refunds since the accused firms can disown them easily. “The firm’s officials told us that their company should not be held liable for refunds in cases where the deposits never reached them,” said the source.
The group of firms under the CBI scanner had allegedly operated via its army of 2.21 lakh agents who were paid 30% commission, a rate that was considered to be on the higher side, to rope in maximum gullible investors, said the source. But in a majority of cases, the depositors were not asked to submit their residence proof, Permanent Account Number, or other identity particulars and the deposits’ details were not accurately shown in the book of accounts either, said the source.
Suspended TMC MP Kunal Ghosh, one of the accused in the case, being produced in a Kolkata court in September.