ED attaches properties price Rs 4,109 crore in Agri Gold Ponzi scheme case; three arrested

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The property connected provisionally below the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) are positioned in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Telangana

File photograph of Enforcement Directorate brand

New Delhi: The ED has connected properties price Rs 4,109 crore unfold throughout numerous states in a money-laundering case linked to an alleged Ponzi scheme, the company stated on Thursday.

The case pertains to the Agri Gold Group of Companies. Three promoters of the group have been arrested by the central company on Tuesday.

“The attached assets include 2,809 landed properties, Haailand Amusement Park in the name of Arka Leisure and Entertainments Private Limited in Andhra Pradesh (spread over 48 acres) and shares of various companies, plants and machinery,” the Enforcement Directorate (ED) stated in an announcement on Thursday.

The property connected provisionally below the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) are positioned in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.

The accused can enchantment in opposition to the ED order earlier than the Adjudicating Authority of the PMLA inside six months.

The ED initiated a probe into the matter after going by numerous police FIRs filed in opposition to the accused in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka for allegedly duping over 32 lakh buyers after funds price Rs 6,380 crore have been collected from them.

The “main accused” are Avva Venkata Rama Rao, Avva Venkata S Narayana Rao and Avva Hema Sundara Vara Prasad — the promoters of the Agri Gold Group of Companies who’ve been arrested by the ED.

The company initiated the probe in opposition to the accused after going by numerous police FIRs filed in opposition to them in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka.

Investors from Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Chhattisgarh have been additionally duped by the Ponzi scheme, it had stated.

“The scam was perpetrated by Avva Venkata Rama Rao through the Agri Gold Group of Companies. He had earlier worked in the Golden Forest CIS (collective investment scheme) fraud and having learnt the tricks of the trade in that scheme, had hatched a well-planned conspiracy.

“He, alongside along with his seven brothers and associates, arrange greater than 150 firms and began amassing deposits from most people with a promise of offering developed plots/farm lands or withdrawal at a excessive charge of return on maturity/pre-term,” the agency had said.

It alleged that the accused “engaged” thousands of commission agents to lure people with various schemes for a hefty commission and managed to collect Rs 6,380 crore from a total of 32,02,628 investor accounts.

“In the top, the gullible buyers neither bought plots nor may get better their deposits. The group collected deposits illegally from throughout the nation,” the ED alleged.

The agency said the Agri Gold Group of Companies “didn’t receive permission from the RBI to gather such deposits”.

“The SEBI has reported that the enterprise of the Agri Gold Farm Estates India Private Limited (a bunch firm) was nothing however a CIS and ordered the corporate to cease taking additional deposits and return the cash to the depositors.

“Instead of complying with the directions of the SEBI in letter and spirit, accused Avva Venkata Rama Rao opened new companies and started collecting deposits in the names of the new companies on the pretext of real estate business with the help of an army of commission agents,” it alleged.

The ED stated its probe discovered that the accused “never developed lands sufficient to give plots to all the investors”.

It had stated Avva Venkata Rama Rao and his household went on a “siphoning spree”, illegally diverted the general public deposits and invested in myriad verticals and personal firms, which have been instantly owned by their household.

The company had stated the accused “also set up companies abroad” and diverted giant quantities of funds to offshore entities. PTI NES RC

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