ED attaches assets of Bengaluru firm, worth over Rs 8 cr, in Ponzi case

According to the ED, the assets were attached under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) in connection with the Ponzi scheme case.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached assets worth Rs 8.41 crore belonging to Bengaluru firm Ajmera Groups, its partners and others in connection with a money-laundering probe linked to an alleged multi-crore chit fund case.

According to the ED, the assets were attached under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) in connection with the Ponzi scheme case. The assets are in the form of two immovable properties (a piece of agricultural land and a residential plot) and 14 movable properties (13 bank accounts and one Demat Account)

A case was registered at Jayanagar police station in Bengaluru under several sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC), Price, Chits and Money Circulating Banning Act of 1978, Karnataka Money Lenders Act and Karnataka Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishments Act, 2004.

It is alleged that Tabrez Pasha, Abdul Dastagir, Tabrez Ulla Shariff, Syed Mudasir, Syed Muthahir and Fairoz Khan of the firm collected funds from 1,148 depositors totalling Rs 34.66 crores, of which they failed to return Rs 29.17 crores.

“Investigation conducted under PMLA revealed that Ajmera Groups illegally collected deposits amounting to Rs 256.06 crores from various persons by luring the gullible investors with a promise of higher rate of Interest (of up to 20 percent 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 crores to the depositors.” read a statement issued by the ED on Tuesday.

“The illegally collected amount was deposited in various bank accounts. Investigations further revealed that this amount was embezzled and transferred to various unrelated accounts of Ajmera Groups or the depositors. This amount was further invested in immovable and movable properties. On identification of these assets totalling to Rs 8.41 crores held in the name of Ajmera Groups, a provisional attachment order has been issued under PMLA,” the central agency further said.

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