New Delhi, Jan 3: After the major financial scam caused by the collapse of a Ponzi scheme run by Saradha Group, it was the turn of Rose Valley chit fund scam in West Bengal. The Rose valley scam is similar to Saradha scam as it has many TMC links. Trinamool Congress MP and Tollywood actor Tapas Pal is one of brand ambassadors of the company who has been arrested by the CBI. The Rose Valley scam is seven times bigger than the similar, Rs 2,460-crore Saradha scam. The Rose Valley group was into real estate, films, media, jewellery, hotels and resorts and its firms operated unlicenced financial schemes that escaped regulators’ scrutiny. As per reports, the group allegedly robbed millions of investors in at least 10 states by promising exaggerated returns. These investors were majorly from from the low-income group. Also Read - Subhra Kundu, Wife of Rose Valley Group Chief Gautam Kundu, Arrested By CBI
What is the Rose Valley chit fund scam? Also Read - Mamata Blames Centre For Actor, Politician Tapas Pal's Death, Says Centre Caused Several Deaths
The Rose Valley chit fund scam could have raised nearly Rs 38,000 crore in West Bengal, Tripura, Jharkhand, Orissa, Assam and Bihar. As per reports by Enforcement Directorate, Rose Valley raised Rs 15,000 crore from depositors. Gautam Kundu, chairman of Rose Valley while responding to the allegations in 2015 said, “It is a free country. Anybody can say anything. We are in this business for the last 10 years. So we know what we are doing.” Kundu was arrested last year by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in Kolkata. The Rose Valley Group was one of the sponsors of Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders. It was also the title sponsor of an international chess meet in Kolkata in 2012. Also Read - Tapas Pal, Bengali Actor And Former TMC MP, Dies of Cardiac Arrest in Mumbai
As per reports by Business Standard, the chit fund company had started its operation in 1997 in West Bengal and had acquired immovable properties of Rs 800-900 crore and movable properties of Rs 200 crore. It also stated that the company had flouted the guidelines of market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Registrar of Companies (RoCs).
The central government through the Income Tax Department and Enforcement Directorate launched a multi-agency probe to investigate the Saradha scam and similar Ponzi schemes. As per reports, Rose Valley wrote a letter to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after the Saradha scam broke out in 2013. In the letter, Rose Valley clarified that it had assets worth Rs 10,000 crore and was ready to pay off investors if they were asked to. Despite the assurances, Rose Valley’s offices at Tamluk in East Medinipur and Ranigunj in Bardhaman were vandalised by depositors and agents recently.
CBI files chargesheet against Rose Valley Group of Companies in 2016:
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in January 2016 filed its preliminary charge sheet against Rose Valley Group of Companies for duping investors of Rs 17,000 crore across country through various schemes. The 86 page charge sheet filed by CBI in the special CBI court in Bhubaneswar named Goutam Kundu, chairman of the group, Shibamoy Dutta, managing director and directors Ramlal Goswami and Ashok Saha after recording 131 witnesses.
These three have been booked under 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating), sources said. Kundu was arrested last year in Kolkata. Shibamoy Dutta and Ashok Saha were arrested by the CBI earlier while Ramlal Goswami is still absconding.
The CBI issued summons to two Trinamool Congress MPs, Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Tapas Paul, in connection with the alleged Rose Valley scam on December 27, 2016 and both the leaders were asked to appear at the CBI office here on December 30.
TMC links with Rose Valley chit fund scam:
The Rose valley chit fund scam is similar to Saradha scam as it has many TMC links. Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Actor-turned TMC MP Tapas Pal have been making headlines for their involvement in the scam. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today arrested Sudip Bandyopadhyay for his involvement in Rs 60,000 Cr Rose Valley group chit fund scam. Bandyopadhyay reached CBI at its office in Kolkata for questioning today. Before he went inside for questioning, he said, “I have come to clarify my position on whatever questions they have”.
Actor-turned MP Tapas Pal was arrested by the CBI on December 30 after being interrogated for four hours for his alleged links with ponzy scheme with the Rose Valley chit fund organisation. The Rose Valley scam is believed to be the biggest ponzi fraud in India as it encompasses a larger amount of money as compared to the Saradha case. Pal vehemently denied the allegations that he took financial advantage from the chit fund company and said that his party stands by him. “My party is with me.”. He also alleged that Union minister Babul Supriyo is involved in the multi-crore Rose Valley chit fund scam. “Babul Supriyo tricked me into the scam and he is involved in it,” Pal claimed.
Mamata Banerjee stands with accused party members:
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee fumed over the arrest of Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay and said, “If they (government) think that after the arrest Sudip Bandhopadhyay we won’t protest, they are wrong”. She further added saying that she will take the legal battle forward and will seek justice from the court.
Mamata condemned the political vindictive attitude of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah and said the arrests have been made for no reasons. Mamata said both, the Prime Minister and Amit Shah should be arrested. Mamata said she will protest over arrest of Bandhopadhyay tomorrow . In December, the West Bengal Chief Minister had accused the Centre of resorting to vendetta politics after Sudip Bandopadhyay was asked by the CBI to appear before it in connection with the Rose Valley chit fund scam.