ED attaches Rs 8 cr assets of B'luru firm in ponzi case

Enforcement Directorate attaches over Rs 8 crore assets of Bengaluru firm in ponzi case

The FIR registered in Jayanagar Police Station had invoked relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Karnataka Money Lenders Act, 1961

Representative image. Credit: iStock.

The Enforcement Directorate has attached properties worth Rs 8.41 crore of Bengaluru-based Ajmera Groups in connection with a money laundering probe against it linked to a chit fund case.

The assets provisionally attached were an agricultural land, a residential plot, 13 bank accounts and DEMAT account held in the name of Ajmera Groups, its partners and others, the ED said in a statement on Tuesday.

The ED had filed a complaint against the firm based on an FIR and chargesheet filed by the Karnataka Police against the company and its promoters Tabrez Pasha, Abdul Dastagir, Tabrez Ulla Shariff, Syed Mudasir, Syed Muthahir and Fairoz Khan for "illegally" collecting funds from 1,148 depositors and "failing" to return Rs 29.17 crore.

The FIR registered in Jayanagar Police Station had invoked relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Karnataka Money Lenders Act, 1961.

"Investigation conducted under Prevention of Money Laundering Act revealed that M/s Ajmera Groups illegally collected deposits amounting to Rs 256.06 crore from various persons by luring the gullible investors with a promise of higher rate of Interest (of up to 20% per month). Such higher rate of interest was not possible in any prudent way and the accused M/s Ajmera Groups failed to return the amount of Rs 29.17 crore to the depositors," the ED said.

The investigating agency said the money illegally collected was deposited in various bank accounts. This amount was embezzled and transferred to various unrelated accounts of Ajmera Groups or the depositors, the ED claimed.

"These amounts were further invested in immovable and movable properties. On identification of these assets totalling to ₹ 8.41 crore held in the name of M/s Ajmera Groups, a provisional attachment order has been issued under PMLA," it added.

While further investigations are on, the firm and its partners can appeal against the provisional attachment order before the Adjudicating Authority of the PMLA within six months.