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Sunday, Aug 18, 2019

Investment fraud cases: EOW units in Maharashtra will attach properties of all beneficiaries

Earlier, complainants would only name the company directors in the complaints and not the agents of the fraud companies, said EOW officials

mumbai Updated: Feb 27, 2019 23:29 IST
Vijay Kumar Yadav
Vijay Kumar Yadav
Hindustan Times
Mumbai EOW’s MPID lodged five fraud cases involving ₹7,060 crore in 2017
Mumbai EOW’s MPID lodged five fraud cases involving ₹7,060 crore in 2017 (Representational photo)

Economic Offences Wing (EOW) units across the state, including the one in Mumbai, will now attach the properties of all beneficiaries of fraud companies, including the agents, in cases of mass investment frauds. The new rules are based on guidelines issued by the home department to commissionerates and district police stations across the state on Tuesday.

“Earlier, complainants would only name the company directors in the complaints, and not the agents who received the commissions. As a result, only the directors would be prosecuted and only their properties would be attached. The new guidelines will ensure that all beneficiaries of the fraud, including these agents, will be brought under the scanner,” said an EOW officer.

According to EOW officers, the move will ensure maximum recovery in mass investment fraud cases, booked under the Maharashtra Protection of Interests of Depositors (MPID) Act.

The new guidelines state that if any investigating agency outside Mumbai identifies the property of the accused or of suspected beneficiaries, it must inform the additional director general of police (EOW). Similarly, if an investigating body in the city identifies such property, it must inform the joint commissioner of police (EOW) or joint commissioner of police (law and order).

Another officer said that the guidelines have been put in place mainly for the police commissionerates and district police stations, rather than for Mumbai Police. “In Mumbai, this [attachment of all beneficiaries’ properties] has already been in practice. Sometimes, the names of the beneficiaries surface later, after the forensic audit. Therefore, these names are added after culpability is ascertained and their properties are subsequently attached,” the officer said.

Last year, Mumbai EOW’s MPID unit lodged seven cases of investment fraud involving ₹29.29 crore. It lodged five fraud cases involving ₹7,060 crore in 2017 and four cases involving ₹25 crore in 2016. The year 2017 saw some of the biggest cases of mass investment fraud, including the PanCards Club Limited and Royal Twinkle Star Club cases.

First Published: Feb 27, 2019 23:25 IST

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