A day after the Enforcement Directorate raided several offices owned by Rose Valley, it has emerged that the chairman of the deposit-taking company, Gautam Kundu, could be summoned soon for interrogation.
Much like the Saradha Group, which was booked for running several Ponzi schemes in the state, Rose Valley raised crores from small investors under various deposit-seeking schemes over the last few years.
As there is no case registered with the West Bengal Police against the company, the ED is investigating into cases of non-payment to depositors lodged against the company in Orissa, Assam and other northeastern states. The directorate has started a case against the company based on a complaint received from the SEBI, a senior official of the directorate said.
Sources said the agency has already traced more than a thousand bank accounts of the company in several states and is investigating the same at present.
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When contacted, Kundu said: “Apart from the SEBI, the Serious Fraud Investigation Office and the ED are investigating into the matter. We have been cooperating with all the agencies. If tomorrow the CBI comes, we will cooperate with them also. We have submitted all the documents that we have been asked to. We are businessmen and these kind of small things keep on happening.”
The ED has already sent summons to several people connected with the company. With the ED coming down heavily on the company, it seems it is just the beginning of the unfolding of a deeply entrenched Ponzi scheme network involving dozens of other companies in West Bengal, some of which also wield considerable power in the media given their ownership of television channels and newspapers.
Significantly, in 2013, a SEBI order directed the Rose Valley Hotels and Entertainment Limited (RVHEL) and its directors “not to collect money any more from investors including under the existing schemes”. The group had them approached the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) against the order.