In what may spell more trouble for the Sahara Group and its chief Subrata Roy, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in Mumbai on Thursday registered cases under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against two firms.
The ED will soon issue summons to Roy and three directors of the group asking them to remain present before the central agency to record their statements.
The ED registered two separate cases following complaint filed by market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).
Sebi had accused Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Ltd (SHICL) of committing various illegalities while raising Rs24,000 crore from investors.
The companies had raised the amount by issuance of certain bonds.
In February, Sebi ordered freezing of properties of the two firms and their top executives.
The action came following a Supreme Court (SC) directive ordering the firms to refund money with certain interest.
The SC had also instructed Sebi to give refunds to genuine investors from the money the group had deposited with the market regulator.
ED officials said now that cases had been registered formal investigation wil begin against the two companies.
Sources said the agency wil verify information that crores of rupees have been transferred outside the country in the name of investment. It also wants to verify allegations that a large number of investors were dummy and that many shell companies had invested in the group.
According to sources, the ED is also investigating if money was routed to Mauritius in 2011.
Officials said the bank details submitted by the group also raises many questions on the investments.
A Sahara Group spokesperson refused to comment saying he wasn't aware of the development.