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Pincon Group scam: Masterminds diverted investors’ money to fund liquor business

CMD of West Bengal-based company and other accused have accepted that the Pincon Spirit Limited had a liability of Rs 500 crore

jaipur Updated: Nov 04, 2017 19:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Pincon Group,Pincon Spirit Limited,Ponzi scam
The SOG officials address media in Jaipur. (HT photo)

The Pincon Group diverted crores of rupees it illegally raised from thousands of gullible investors in Rajasthan and some other states to fund the company’s liquor business, police officials said Saturday.

The revelation comes a day after the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the Rajasthan Police arrested four persons, including Manoranjan Roy, the CMD of West Bengal-based company, for allegedly duping 25,000 people in the state.

“Roy also owns Pincon Spirit Limited, which manufactures alcohol that is supplied in several states. Investigations have revealed that the money illegally acquired from investors by the Pincon Group was used to fund the liquor business,” said inspector general of police, SOG, Dinesh MN.

Set up in 1978, the Pincon Spirit Limited (PSL), as per its website, claims to blend and bottle Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) as well as Indian made Indian liquor (IMIL). A note by Roy on the website claims that “by 2013, the turnover was of Rs 300 crore” and “in 2016, Pincon Spirit became a fast growing large player in the cheap liquor segment brand” as “liquor sales jumped over 1 crore bottles per month.”

The IG said that during interrogation, the accused accepted that the firm had a liability of Rs 500 crore.

“Preliminary investigation suggests that the scam could be of more than Rs 1,000 crore. We are further investigating to unearth the money trail and where else the money collected from investors ended up,” the SOG official said.

The IG said that the accused flouted numerous rules at the time of inviting capital and later not paying it back.

Of nearly Rs 56 crore the Pincon Group secured by asking people to invest in debenture, the masterminds siphoned off Rs 39 crore through shell companies.

Along with Roy, the SOG on Friday had arrested company director Vinay Singh from Bengaluru, accounts head Raghu Shetty from Varanasi and another director (of Pincon Spirits) Hari Singh from Agra.

“We are conducting search operations in the offices of Pincon Group in Ajmer to gather more evidence. All four accused are currently being questioned and will be presented at the court on November 9,” said Sanjay Shrotriya, superintendent of police, SOG.

A case has been registered against the accused under various sections of the IPC and the IT Act.

First Published: Nov 04, 2017 19:46 IST