Market regulator Sebi is probing at least ten Saradha group entities for alleged fraud through public money pooling activities, in addition to Saradha Realty India which was asked Tuesday night to close its collective investment schemes and refund the investors' money.
Amid continuing public protest against the group's alleged fraudulent activities, Sebi in a late night order also barred Saradha Realty India and its Managing Director Sudipto Sen from the securities market till it winds up all Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) and makes the refund.
A senior official said that Sebi is continuing with its probe into a number of other companies belonging to the group headed by Sen, who was arrested in Kashmir valley yesterday.
At least ten companies are currently being probed for possible violation of CIS regulations of Sebi, the official said, while adding that role of Sen and other top executives associated with these entities was also being investigated.
While the amount of money raised by these entities is yet to be ascertained, the complaints received against them indicate towards thounsands of crores worth rupees having been collected by these entities through various schemes.
The official said that all of the entities might not have raised money through CIS products and there are indications of numerous chit funds having been also operated by the group.
While CIS activities are regulated by Sebi, the chit funds and MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) firms largely come under the jurisdictions of state governments.
Complaints have been received by the Union Corporate Affairs Ministry and the Reserve Bank as well for alleged irregularities by various Saradha group companies, which in turn have alerted the concerned agencies including those of the West Bengal government about the matter.