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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

SFIO plans to approach new DIG for information on probe into Ponzi firms

Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri , Hindustan Times  Kolkata, September 30, 2013
First Published: 11:09 IST(30/9/2013) | Last Updated: 12:41 IST(30/9/2013)

GMP Reddy, who is set to take charge as the new director and inspector general of the state police, could likely hear from the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) soon, as the central agency plans to approach him for guarantee on cooperation from state police in sharing information about chit fund concerns, especially those of the Saradha Group.

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The decision, so arrived at by the SFIO, stems from acute frustration of the agency in availing information from the state police on the activities of Saradha Group.

“We have aired repeated complaints about the non- cooperation of the state police’s investigative team, both at the central and state level, but those failed to elicit the desired response. Now, as the new director general of police is all set to take charge, we would approach him for guaranteed cooperation in our probe into the affairs of the Saradha Group,” said a senior associate of SFIO, which is probing the affairs of 54 dubious financial entities across the state, including those of the Saradha Group.

SFIO is the investigative arm of the Union ministry of corporate affairs and Reddy, currently the director general (intelligence branch) of West Bengal Police, is due to take charge as the new director and inspector general of the state police, following the retirement of predecessor Naparajit Mukhopadhyay.

From the time the Saradha scam hit the surface, the SFIO officials had been known to voice their displeasure over the lack of support and assistance from the investigative arm of the state police, especially with regard to sharing information they collated during their probe into the affairs of the Saradha Group.

“We have also been probing the activities of such groups in other states, especially Assam, Tripura and Odisha. But, nowhere did we have any grouse about non-cooperation. We have also identified an officer on the rolls of the investigative arm of the state police, who has been the key to stonewalling our efforts to ferret out information on their probe into the chit fund groups,” the SFIO associate said.

The SFIO started its probe into the affairs of 54 dubious financial entities, including the Saradha Group, in April 2013.

Having already submitted an interim report to the ministry of corporate affairs last month, the SFIO is expected to complete its probe and submit the final report by December.

As per records of the ministry of corporate affairs that were tabled at the Rajya Sabha recently, there are 87 such companies in India against whom complaints have been lodged for involvement in dubious activities.

As many as 73 of such companies are from Bengal, said sources.

The Bengal-based concerns include 18 companies of the Rose Valley Group, 10 companies of the Saradha Group and those of the Tower Group, Chakra Group, ICore Group, MPS Group, Prayag Group and Rahul Group.


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