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The News Minute | December 17, 2014 | 6.51 pm IST The Saradha Scam first came to light in April 2013 and reportedly revolves around a total sum of Rs. 2460 crores with 80 percent of the depositors money still remaining unpaid. Essentially the Saradha Group collected around Rs. 200 to Rs. 300 billion from over 1.7 million depositors before it collapsed in April 2013.  The main company which started in 2006 and is a consortium of over 200 companies promised of astronomical returns in Ponzi schemes. ‘Ponzi’ is basically fraudulent investments operation which pays returns to its investors from their own money or the money paid by subsequent investors rather than profit earned by an individual or an organization running the operation.  Saradha Group was running a wide variety of collective investment schemes where they would appoint agents to collect money from public by issuing secured debentures and redeemable preferential bonds on commission basis. In India, raising money this way demands the jurisdiction of Regulatory authority such as Registrars of Companies or SEBI for various kinds of investments to protect investors’ interest. SEBI has acted on Saradha Group of companies as they failed to comply with the regulations applicable to collective investments schemes while raising bonds and debentures. Who are the people arrested in connection with Saradha scam? Sudipta Sen was on the run after the scam was made public but was later arrested from a hotel in Sonmarg, Kashmir. This report says his associates identified as Debjani Mukherjee and his driver Arvind Singh Chauhan were with him at the time of the arrest. She is considered to be the closest aide of Sudipta Sen and was accompanying Sudipta Sen when he fled from Kolkata after the company went bust. Arvind Chouhan, Chauffer Arvind Chouhan was the one who drove Sudipta and Debjani from Kolkata to Kashmir. Manoj Nagel was one of the first Saradha employees to get arrested. According to reports on the Telegraph, Nagel, who hails from Uttar Pradesh, was arrested on a complaint lodged on April 16, 2013 by theatre director Arpita Ghosh against Sudipto Sen, chairman and MD of the Saradha Group. Journalist turned TMC MP was heading the media operations of Saradha Group of Companies and was the link between Sudipta-TMC-Mamata. He used to draw salary of Rs 15 lakhs per month and also took money from Sudipta for Kunal’s own company Strategic Media. He was arrested for cheating, breach of trust and criminal conspiracy. This report says that within two hours of his arrest in a Facebook post he named 12 people who he said could help the police unravel the scam. The list included names of four Trinamool MPs and Trinamool supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Arrested on August 20, 2014 after a series of interrogations by the CBI and had appeared thrice before the agency. He was the linkman between Sudipta and SEBI officials who were threatening Saradha Group for their illegal operations. According to reports he took money in cheque at an organization’s name and some money in cash. He forced Sudipta to pay Rs 7 to 8 crores to late EB official Paltu Das’ daughter and son-in-law who stay in Mumbai. He is known to have invested money in real estate business in Goa through Alvito. According to reports on Indian Express he has been booked under various charges that include criminal conspiracy and money laundering. Sandhir Agarwal was the linkman between Sudipta Sen and SEBI and helped Debabrata Sarkar to make the deal with SEBI officials. According to reports on the Hindu, his name surfaced in the letter written by Sudipta Sen to the CBI in April 2013. The letter said that Mr. Sarkar, Mr. Agarwal and several others had taken Rs. 40 crore from him to cover up a probe being conducted by the SEBI. Rajat Majumdar claimed he used to look after the security aspect of the company, but in reality he was the director of Saradha Realty and left the job a few months before Sudipta went bankrupt. He has also claimed he drew a salary of Rs 2.5 lakhs per month but Sudipta Sen claimed Rajat used to get Rs 7 lakhs per month. He used to ‘manage’ the police and local administration using his clout to sort out the disputes in land purchase, etc Sudipta claimed he took Rs 4 crore to take care of the guests in Biswa Bangal Sammelan in 2010 in USA and could not file details of expenditure. Arrested on charges of misappropriation of funds, conspiracy and cheating. Srinjoy is the son of industrialist Swapan Sadhan Basu who is also the former TMC MP and presently the president of Mohun Bagan Club. Srinjoy’s company SPTV had entered into a deal with Sudipta’s Bengal Media to give content support to Saradha’s Channel 10. Srinjoy’s company took Rs 60 lakhs per month from Sen for this deal. Sen had also claimed he gave Srinjoy Rs 20 crore to run the channel for two years and it has been denied by Srinjoy. Sudipta Sen alleged that Srinjoy forced him to enter into this deal promising him facilities from Mamata government.  According to reports on the Hindu his name first surfaced in the letter by Sudipta Sen in April 2013, alleging that Mr. Bose “pressurized and extorted” money from him. Sadanand Gogoi allegedly took Rs 4 lakhs to make a documentary on Sudipta Sen’s biscuit factory in Assam’s Dhubri. He was also instrumental in introducing Sudipta Sen to many Assam ministers and politicians. According to reports on the Hindu Business Line, he has been arrested on allegations of conspiracy and misappropriation of funds. West Bengal Transport Minister Madan Mitra was arrested by the CBI in connection with the Saradha Scam on the 12th December 2014. He has been charged with cheating and misappropriation of funds.  His arrest came in connection with a case registered against Saradha Realty, a company with investments in the housing sector. In the same case, the CBI arrested Naresh Bhalotia, legal adviser to Saradha group chief Sudipta Sen, on similar charges. His involvement came to light when Kunal Ghosh, former CEO of Saradha Media Group threatened to commit suicide if TMC leaders Mukul Roy and Madan Mitra are not arrested. BJP. Summoned by the CBI or ED 1.The ED summoned Subhaprasanna, a painter by profession because the agency had acquired papers which suggested that the painter had bought land to set up an art enterprise. This was not the first time he was summoned for dealing with Saradha Group. 2.Himanta Biswa Sarma, former health and education minister was grilled by the CBI for his involvement in the Saradha scam. When the media questioned him about his closeness to singer-filmmaker Sadananda Gogoi Sarma replied saying Gogoi was to many people including owners and editors of some newspapers and TV news channel in Guwahati. 3.Anjan Dutta, Senior Congress leader who was also a businessman and had a printing business that had links with arrested Saradha managing director Sudipto Sen. Dutta's only involvement with Sen was that he was printing a Bengali newspaper of Saradha and other materials including calendars at his printing press here. 4.Aparna Sen, Film maker Aparna used to edit the Saradha Group-promoted magazine, called ‘Parama’ and was summoned because of her knowledge of the affairs and the inner workings of the group. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) summoned filmmaker Aparna Sen for her alleged links with Saradha Group head Sudipta Sen. 5.Former union minister Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury was summoned by the CBI for the letters he had written to then prime minister Manmohan Singh about the Saradha Group. 6. Nalini Chidambaram, wife of former Union minister P Chidambaram, was questioned by the CBI in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam. According to reports she was questioned when Sudipta Sen claimed he had paid more than Rs 1 crore to her at the instance of Manoranjana Singh, the estranged wife of Congress leader Matang Singh. Santanu Ghosh was arrested by the ED and was later given bail. According to reports on the Hindu Business Line, Sudipta Sen supposedly told ED that Ghosh sold him a ‘non-productive’ automobile company for Rs. 52 crores. He has also raised money from banks including two state-run lenders by pledging assets of a Saradha Group company. He later received conditional bail as the agency failed to submit a charge sheet. Former TMC leader Asif Khan was arrested by the CBI on the allegations made by two businessmen of being cheated of Rs. 28 crore by Khan. According to the report he was considered to be close to AITC general secretary Mukul Roy but fell out with him when he alleged that TMC leaders were present at meetings with Saradha Group chairman and managing director Sudipta Sen. Arrested family members of Sudipta Sen Sudipta Sen’s wife Piyali Sen and son Shubhojit were arrested on account of being involved in the case of money laundering. Both have been arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.According to the report the agency has till now issued attachment orders on all equity shares of all 224 companies of the Saradha group, insurance policies in the name of Sen and his wife, numerous land properties and plots, 390 bank accounts and equity shares of a TV channel run by the beleaguered group. Somnath Dutta Vice-President of Saradha's media wing and close aide of Kunal Ghosh was arrested in connection for a forgery case related Saradha chit fund scam. This was the second time he was arrested in connection of Saradha chit fund scam. Arth Tatva Group: A fallout of Saradha Scam probe The Arth Tatva Group is a fallout scam from the CBI probe being conducted on the Saradha chit fund scam. Preeti Bhatia was arrested after it was found during probe that funds from Artha Tatwa (AT) Group were diverted to her personal accounts and that of a relative and the company without valid reasons.  Odisha-based newspaper's proprietor Bikash Swain and Ranjan Kumar Das, the personal assistant of ruling BJD legislator Pravata Tripaty, in connection with multi-crore-rupee Saradha chit fund scam, said a report.According to the report Swain, the owner of Odia newspaper "Surya Prabha:, was arrested along with Das, the then chief adviser in AT Multipurpose Cooperative Society Ltd, in Artha Tatwa Group case - connected with the Saradha scam - on charges of conspiracy and misappropriation of funds. Parekh has allegedly obtained license from SEBI and MCX for Artha Tatwa group while Bhatia had started a media company along with Pradeep Sethi, Chairman cum Managing Director of the group, who has been arrested by CBI. The other stock broker arrested by the CBI was Dharmendra Bothra for his alleged links with the AT Group financial fraud.  CBI arrested Sambit Khuntia, director of Artha Tatwa group and a local level Congress leader in connection with the scam after searches were carried out in 60 locations in Mumbai and Odihsa. The houses of TV serial producer Preeti Bhatia and stock broker Deepak Parekh in Mumbai besides Behrampur, Balasor, and 54 places around Bhubaneshwar. CBI has alleged that the MLA was taking protection money from some of the accused. This Odisha chit-fund scam was a part of the probe in the Saradha Scam. Tweet