Wednesday, October 5, 2022

CBI registers 100 cases related to Ponzi schemes involving 132 companies

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered 100 cases relating to Ponzi Schemes from 2019 to June 30, 2022, involving 132 companies or firms, and 21 persons have been arrested in this regard.

Similarly, the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) has investigated 87 cases related to Ponzi Schemes under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) during the last three years and current year and eight persons have been arrested by the ED in this regard, said a written reply by the Ministry of Finance in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) has been assigned investigation by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) into the affairs of nine cases (5 in 2019-20, 1 in 2020-21, and 3 in 2021-22) involving 85 companies (36 in 2019-20, 16 in 2020-21, and 33 in 2021-22) during the last three years, which were allegedly engaged in fraudulent Chit Fund and Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) activities. No arrest has been made in this regard by SFIO.

The Sachet portal of RBI, which is the online platform for State Level Coordination Committees (SLCC) and facilitates the public to lodge complaints of financial frauds, received 1,540 complaints related to non-repayment of deposits and money collected for various kinds of Investment Schemes (964 in 2020-21, and 576 in 2021-22), said the reply.

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI): SEBI has passed final orders against 29 unregistered Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) entities during the last four years (12 in 2018-19, 10 in 2019-20, five in 2020-21 and two in 2021-22).

The ministry said that multiple steps have been taken in order to tackle the menace of illicit deposit taking schemes which dupe people of their hard earned savings, and to protect the interests of people.

The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Act, 2019 has been enacted by the Central Government. The Act contains comprehensive provisions in this regard prohibiting promoting, operating, issuing advertisements or accepting deposits in any Unregulated Deposit Scheme, and provisions for severe punishment and heavy pecuniary fines to act as deterrent.

Besides, 29 states and union territories have passed Protection of Interest of Depositors (PID) Acts for taking action against entities collecting money from the public illegally.