Sebi finds largescale mismatches in Sahara papers

Sebi finds largescale mismatches in Sahara papers

Sebi has come across serious anomalies and a huge number of possibly fictitious investors after analysing truck loads of documents submitted by Saharas to substantiate its claim of over Rs 20,000-crore refunds.

To locate genuine investors who may have deposited money with Saharas, Sebi also wants to issue public notices in regional language newspapers and through other avenues, especially in northern and eastern states of the country.

Sahara group, whose chief Subrata Roy was on Tuesday sent to judicial custody, had deposited Rs 5,120 crore with Sebi after court orders. It claims to have refunded all but Rs 2,000 crore in cash directly to investors. The court had ordered refund of over Rs 24,000 crore in August 2012.

Sebi has contested Sahara’s direct refund claims.

However, Sebi’s analysis of documents submitted by Saharas has thrown up large-scale mismatch -- in dates on application forms and redemption vouchers, addresses, names, bond details, among others -- in these papers, sources said.
There are numerous instances of one person having hundreds of accounts, one account having multiple beneficiaries, one person with multiple addresses and one address having tens of individuals. There are some people whose claimed dues spread over multiple accounts run into crores of rupees.

Besides, there are thousands of cases where addresses are untraceable, as also cases having innocuous addresses like national highways, and just names of villages, towns or roads, sources said.

A large chunk of these details have also been presented before Supreme Court through written and oral submissions, they said, adding that there are also cases of payment dates being shown earlier than the voucher dates.

The months-long analysis, conducted with hundreds of scanners, computers and a robotic system installed at a huge warehouse in suburbs of Mumbai by hundreds of people, began early last year after Saharas delivered more than 100 trucks full of cartons containing documents.

Sebi finally managed to sort over three crore application forms of investors who were issued OFCDs (Optionally Fully Convertible Debentures), as per claims of Saharas, and close to 2.4 crore redemption vouchers through which the group claimed to have refunded the investors.

While it is now possible to easily locate and match all these forms now, the analysis has thrown up shocking results in terms of genuineness of the claimed investors.
Sebi is separately handling the investor claims that it is getting directly from the public after its earlier public notice last year, wherein those having invested in Sahara OFCDs were asked to send appropriate documents for refund.

The details of these investors are then being matched with those provided by Saharas, although a large number of these direct claims are coming without necessary documents.

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