Sahara fraud probe: Rs 86,000 crore from 4 crore depositors

IS: India Today

About Rs 62,000 crore was invested in Aamby Valley, says regulator, “against principles of thrift, co-op societies”. Between 2012 and 2014, when the Supreme Court accused two of its group firms, and Sahara’s chief Subrata Roy was arrested, the Sahara Group collected deposits worth Rs 86,673 crore from as many as four crore depositors, records show.

These groups, with the fourth one set up in 2010, have their deposits red-flagged by the Government. The Government has called in for a probe into a slew of “highly suspicious” anomalies that have put depositors’ “hard-earned” money under “serious” risk.

Of the money accumulated, at least Rs 62,643 crore, regulators said, was invested in the Aamby Valley project in Lonavala, Maharashtra. The same project was assigned by the Supreme Court in 2017 and then released in 2019 after several failed endeavours to auction the property in order to repay the depositors of Sahara.

These four societies, under the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act, and which come under the purview of the Ministry of Agriculture are: Sahara Credit Cooperative Society Ltd; Humara India Credit Cooperative Society Ltd; Saharayn Universal Multipurpose Society Ltd; and Stars Multipurpose Cooperative Society Ltd.

On August 18, Vivek Aggarwal, Joint Secretary n ministry of Agriculture, & central Registrar of Cooperative Societies, wrote to Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) to begin a probe by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) into the Sahara Group.

In his letter to MCA, Aggarwal wroteur societies reveal “fictitious profits” in transaction of shares of Aamby Valley Ltd. “These entities show income from sale of shares whereas such transfers have happened within the group entities only.’