Pearl Group’s top officials’ kin under CBI scanner in ponzi scam probe

  • Abhishek Sharan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 10, 2016 00:57 IST

A probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) has revealed that two Pearl Group companies—PACL and PGF—allegedly siphoned off Rs 670 crore of investors’ funds to bankroll some Australian firms.

The role of four close relatives of a top official is being examined in the transactions.

The four persons under CBI’s Pearl-ponzi-scam probe scanner are related to PACL’s CMD Nirmal Singh Bhangoo and allegedly “directors in two Australia-based firms set up by the Group as joint ventures,” said an agency source. “The two Group firms in Australia ----Pearls Australasia Pty Limited and Pearls Australasia Mirage 1 Pty Limited—are the ones that received the fund of Rs 670 crore,” said the source.

The Rs 670 crore of investors’ funds was allegedly diverted by PACL to an associate firm, Pearls Infrastructure Projects Limited (PIPL), which in turn transferred them to the two Australian joint-venture firms.

PACL and PGF were among the six named as accused in the CBI’s case chargesheet on Thursday in a Delhi court. They were accused of duping 5.5 crore investors with bogus allotment letters by collecting Rs 45,000 crore from them as deposits for the “sale and development of agricultural plots.” Apart from the PACL and PGF, four of their senior officials, including Bhangoo, were named in the chargesheet. All the accused have denied any wrongdoing as alleged by the CBI.

“CBI could not examine the four relatives under the scanner as they were reportedly in Australia but their version will be taken in course of the ongoing probe as supplementary chargesheets are to be filed,” said the source.

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