The Central Bureau of Investigation’s probe into the Saradha scam has revealed that up to three lakh small investors who gave their deposits to the group’s chit-fund firms under its scanner are allegedly traceless.
Lack of accurate identity and address particulars in the possession of the Saradha group chit-fund firms on these depositors is the alleged reason behind the failure to track them down, said an agency source. Such deposits were mostly collected in West Bengal. “There were instances where the depositor could not be tracked because his address turned out to be fake too, including the name of the village. At times, there was not even a photograph,” the source added.
At the behest of a West Bengal judicial inquiry commission, headed by Justice Shyamal Kumar Sen, which was set up by the state government via a notification in April 2013 around four lakh Saradha depositors were identified, tracked down and compensated by authorities, said the source. The commission was empowered to receive individual and public complaints regarding the alleged Saradha group ponzi firms and to forward such complaints to the authorities for launching prosecution.
The probe has found that the accused firms had not kept proper records on depositors even in other states, including Assam. The agency is verifying the role of senior executives of the group firms who had supervised the collection of deposits. The group firms had at least 345-plus accounts in around 15 banks, though the accounts do not reveal details of the collections.