What action has CBI taken in the Rs 47000 crore PACL Ponzi scam?

On 19 February 2014, the CBI registered a case against the Pearl Group for India’s largest Ponzi scam amounting to Rs 47,000 crore. The company has allegedly defrauded 5 crore customers by promising them land and goods.

The MD of the company (Nirmal Singh Bhangoo) has not been arrested or taken into custody for even a day on the pretext that he is cooperating with the CBI. Pearl Agrotech Corpotation Limited (PACL) was being used to run a pyramidal collective investment scheme under the guise of buying and selling agricultural real estate.

The company has 1,000 bank accounts, 300 customer service centres, hundreds of associate companies and more than 5 crore consumer base. CBI’s FIR states that the company has duped more than Rs 47000 crore from the poorest of poor from five different states.
SEBI has ordered the company to refund at least Rs 29,420 crore immediately and wind up all business within 15 days.

The Pearl Group sponsored the Punjab Government’s World Kabaddi Cup from 2011 to 2013. Significant parts of the money have been invested in the group’s ventures in Australia.

Data relating to deposits from public and their mis-utilization and diversion of funds have been obtained, besides other incriminating documents from the offices for the company and the promoter’s residence.

Even after registering of the case, Pearl group had continued to publish ads in different magazines and newspapers.

There is enough evidence that the promoter Bhangoo was close to a number of senior politicians. None of them have been questioned or arrested. What is the reason behind this inaction?

While the CBI is being misused by BJP for political vendetta against Trinamool, no action has been taken in the case of this multi-crore PACL Ponzi scam.

Written by Agnivo Niyogi with inputs from Shri Sukhendu Sekhar Ray