Saradha Chit Fund Scam: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has issued a Look Out Notice (LoC) against former Kolkata Police Commissioner and Mamata Banerjee's close aide Rajeev Kumar, in connection with the Saradha Chit Fund case. The agency has sought Kumar's custodial interrogation to prevent him from leaving the country, officials said Sunday.
CBI had alerted all airports and immigration authorities this week to stop Kumar from exiting the country and inform the agency on any of his possible moves, the officials told PTI.
Meanwhile, according to India Today TV, the LOC was issued on May 23. A look out circular is issued to keep a check on a traveller who is wanted by the police. It is mostly used in immigration desks at international borders, including airports. Unless the period is stated, look out circulars have a validity of a year as per a notification by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The Supreme Court (SC) had earlier vacated its order granting protection to Kumar from arrest in the Rs 2500 crore Saradha Chit Fund scam case. However, the apex court has now allowed the CBI to "act in accordance with law" on his custodial interrogation matter.
The CBI had alleged in the Supreme Court that Kumar, who was leading the SIT probe into Saradha chit fund scam before the agency took over the case, tampered with the electronic evidence and handed over documents to the agency, some of which were "doctored".
The SIT was set up by Mamata Banerjee government back in 2013 and 2014. Saradha Group chit fund scandal was one of the major financial scams in India which duped 1.4 million investors of Rs 1,200 crore with its illicit money pooling schemes promoted through lustrous brochures and the promise of unfeasible high returns.
The group was using collections from new investors to make payments to the previously-enrolled members, rather than from income generated through investments. Among others, the activities of these companies were found to be in serious violations of the Companies Act, the Sebi Act, and several provisions of the Indian Penal Code.
The scam, wherein lakhs of investors in West Bengal and neighbouring states were defrauded of thousands of crores through illegal money pooling activities, came to light early 2013. The case had become a political hot potato with Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government facing flak from various quarters. It was alleged that the West Bengal government had a direct link with Sudipta Sen, the Chairman of the chit fund group.