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Australian court accepts SEBI claim to repatriate investor funds

According to the order of the Australian court, Sebi will be entitled to receive sale proceeds of Sanctuary Cove properties acquired by PACL in Australia.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | Mumbai |
September 18, 2018 1:45:26 am
Business news, PACL case, Sebi, Lodha Committee, Securities and Exchange Board, PACL in Australia, PACL illegal money, Lodha Committee PACL, indian express About three years ago, Sebi had directed PACL to refund Rs 49,100 crore to investors.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India on Monday said that an Australian court has accepted its claim seeking repatriation of the funds invested by PACL Ltd in acquiring certain Australian assets on behalf of its investors.

About three years ago, Sebi had directed PACL to refund Rs 49,100 crore to investors. PACL ran the biggest illegal money pooling scheme in the history of the country until its promoter Nirmal Singh Bhangoo was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in January 2016 for alleged failure to refund over Rs 49,100 crore collected from 5.85 crore investors over 15 years by offering investments linked to agricultural land and its development over a certain period of time.

Subsequently, the regulator appointed a panel, chaired by former Chief Justice of India R M Lodha, to oversee the process of disposing of assets for refund of money to investors after verifying their genuineness. On observing that the money mobilised by PACL from investors was utilised for acquiring certain assets in Australia, as directed by Lodha Committee, Sebi has filed a “claim petition in the Federal Court of Australia seeking repatriation of the assets or the proceeds thereof on behalf of all the investors in PACL”, the regulator said. “The Federal Court pronounced judgement dated July 20, 2018, and passed order dated July 23, 2018 in the matter, accepting the claim petition filed by Sebi,” said Sebi in a statement.

According to the order of the Australian court, Sebi will be entitled to receive sale proceeds of Sanctuary Cove properties acquired by PACL in Australia. In India, the mobilisation of funds by PACL dates back to 1990s. Following a complaint, Sebi had first issued letters in November-December 1999 to PACL, advising it to comply with the provisions of the Sebi’s regulations dealing with CIS.

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