The CBI Thursday submitted an 86-page preliminary chargesheet in the Rose Valley chit fund scam at the Special Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court here, naming company’s head Gautam Kundu as the main accused.
The CBI has estimated that Rose Valley allegedly duped investors in West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, Jharkhand, Punjab, Delhi, Rajasthan, MP, Tripura and Andhra Pradesh of nearly Rs 17,000 crore. In Odisha alone, the company made Rs 450 crore by duping people, the agency has alleged. The preliminary chargesheet, however, does not have much on political links.
Naming Rose Valley Real Estate & Construction Ltd, Rose Valley Hotel & Entertainment Ltd and Rose Valley Real Estate & Land Bank India Ltd in its chargesheet, the CBI has said that the company’s chairman Goutam Kundu, managing director Sibamoy Dutta and directors Ramlal Goswami and Ashok Kumar Saha were the “main conspirators” in the scam. The accused have been charged under sections 120 (B), 420, 409 of the IPC and sections 4 and 6 of Prize and Chits Banning Act. The company had opened 21 regional and 880 branch offices. Besides, it had enrolled over 20 lakh agents of which around 2.7 lakh were actively involved in collection of deposits.
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The CBI has already arrested Ashok Kumar Saha and Sibamoy Dutta. The agency is trying to get Kundu, currently in the Enforcement Directorate’s custody, on remand. The agency has included 131 witnesses and 252 documents in its chargesheet. Kundu’s properties of 700 acre was spread across 12 states. He reportedly had 150-odd cars, including several imported luxury vehicles. Rose Valley Films produced several Bengali films while Brand Value Communications ran regional newspapers and channels like News Time Bangla, Rupashi Bangla and Dhoom Music. The Rose Valley scam is believed to be much bigger than Saradha scam.
In a separate development, a CBI court on Thursday allowed the agency to take on remand the owner of a chit fund company who was earlier arrested over his involvement in another chit fund scam. Ranjan Kumar Das, who floated chit fund firm Swastik India was on Wednesday arrested with its directors Pramod Parida and Sabyasachi Pani for allegedly duping investors by offering attractive interest rates.
Das, a confidante of suspended BJD MLA Prabhat Tripathy, had started Artha Tatwa chit fund company along with its chairman Pradeep Sethy. After he fell out with Sethi, he started Swastik India Cooperative from the premises of Odisha State Cooperative Union, a state government agency.