ED Seizes Assets Worth Rs110 Crore in Maithri Plantation Ponzi Scheme Case
The enforcement directorate (ED) on Tuesday said that they have attached 210 immovable properties worth Rs 110 crore belonging to Maithri Plantation and Horticulture Pvt Ltd (MPHPL) in connection with PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) related to a ponzi scam case.
A senior ED official said that the attached properties are in the name of MPHPL, its sister concerns Sree Nakshatra Builders and Developers India Pvt Ltd (SNBDIPL), Maithri Realtors India Pvt Ltd (MRIPL) and the directors, namely, Lakku Konda Reddy, Lakku Malayadri Reddy, Lakku Madhava Reddy and Kolikalapudi Brahma Reddy of these companies.
The ED initiated money laundering investigation on the basis of the first information report (FIR) registered by Andhra Pradesh police under Section 420 of the IPC, Sec 4 and 5 read with Sections 2(c) of Prize Chits Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act and Sec 5 of APPDFE Act against Lakku Konda Reddy and others for allegedly cheating and defrauding general public.
In total, 12 FIRs were registered by Andhra Pradesh police.
The ED learnt during the investigation that MPHPL ran an illegal ponzi scheme and solicited deposits from general public without any permission and without any kind of licence to run a collective investment scheme (CIS) or non-banking finance company (NBFC), etc.
It collected deposits from lakhs of gullible depositors who were encouraged to join by a network of organised agents who were, in turn, promised very high commission on the invested amount. Investors were lured with the false promise of very high returns or delivery of a plot in dream projects on maturity.
Money trail revealed that the money collected from the public by MPHPL was illegally diverted to other group companies, namely, SNBDIPL and MRIPL.
They invested in their real estate business and several properties were acquired in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala and Karnataka in the names of MPHPL, SNBDIPL, MRIPL and the directors of these companies.
The accused managed to collect Rs288.42 crore from lakhs of gullible investors. As on date, out of the collected amount, MPHPL has failed to return nearly Rs158.14 crore to the investors.
"The ED has provisionally attached 196 landed properties in AP, 13 landed properties in Telangana and 1 landed property in Karnataka state. The properties include open lands, plots, flats etc, and are valued at Rs110 crore," said the ED official.
Further investigation in the matter is on.
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