NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday said that they recently conducted search and survey operations at 15 places in Nagpur and Mumbai in a case related to a Ponzi Scheme fraud of around Rs 150 crore committed by one Pankaj Mehadia and others.
The ED conducted searches on March 3 and seized gold and diamond jewellery worth Rs 5.51 crore, cash of Rs 1.21 crore, digital devices and various incriminating documents during the searches.
The ED said that the searches were held at the residences and offices of Mehadia, Lokesh Jain and Karthik Jain, who are the main accused in this scam.
The office and residential premises of the main beneficiaries were also raided.
The ED initiated PMLA investigation based on an FIR registered at Sitabuldi Police Station, Nagpur, against five people -- Pankaj Mehadiya, Lokesh Jain, Kartik Jain, Balmukund Lalchand Keyal and Premlata Nandlal Mehadiya.
They allegedly committed a fraud and caused huge loss to their investors to the tune of several crores of rupees.
The ED said that their PMLA investigation has established that Pankaj Mehadia along with other accomplices were running a Ponzi scheme and lured various investors by promising to give 12 per cent assured profit after deducting TDS on the investments made from the year 2004 to 2017.
"Throughout the period of 2005 to 2016, with the malafide intention of cheating and siphoning off the investors' money, the accused persons ran the Ponzi scheme giving assured returns to win over the investors and thus luring the investors to invest in larger amounts in the associated companies and ultimately did not return the money.
"In order to divert the money and to give the transactions a tinge of legitimacy, transactions worth more than Rs 150 crore have been affected in the Bank accounts and it is suspected that most of these transactions are not backed by genuine business deals and are in the nature of accommodation entries," the official said.
Further investigation in the matter is on.
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