Assets worth over Rs 10 crore of a Bengaluru-based firm have been attached under the anti-money laundering law in connection with an alleged 'Islamic banking or halal investment' ponzi scam case, the ED said on Friday.
The accused firm is Ambidant Marketing Pvt Ltd and its promoters and the case of alleged duping of a number of gullible investors had made headlines last year in Karnataka.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) said in a statement the case pertains to allegations that the accused firm and its promoters were collecting investments from customers under various plans and Haj/Umrah plan in the name of 'Islamic banking or halal investment' and offering huge returns to the extent of up to 15 per cent per month.
The company was not authorised to collect such funds as it was neither registered with RBI nor with the SEBI under their collective investment scheme, it said.
"The company sold their plans in the form of partnership business with the promise of high returns. Initially, to win the trust, it was ensured that customers get back their first instalment as promised," the ED alleged.
The company had hired agents who would convince investors to invest in the plan by giving these agents a heavy commission, it said.
"The company earned the trust of gullible investors and they were lured to invest even more but later returning the money including the principal amount was stopped," the federal probe agency said.
Initially, the company shared profits to the existing investors out of funds obtained from its new investors, the ED added.
"The attached immovable properties are in the form of land and residential flats in various part of Bengaluru. The value of immovable properties attached is Rs 8.8 crore while movable properties totalling Rs 1.4 crore have been attached," it said.
The total value of the attached assets, as part of a provisional order issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), is Rs 10.2 crore.
The federal probe agency had taken over the investigation in the case on the basis of a Bengaluru Police FIR and a charge sheet filed by it in February this year.