The Hush Post|04:20pm| 2-min-read
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached Rs 239 crore assets of a firm linked to TMC MP K D Singh in connection with a money-laundering probe. The case is regarding an alleged ponzi or chitfund scam pegged at over Rs 1,900 crore filed in 2016.
The ED said in a statement on Monday that it has issued a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for attaching properties “situated at various places like Chandigarh, Panchkula, Derabassi, SAS Nagar (Punjab) and Shimla. Bank accounts in HDFC Bank against Ms Alchemist Infra Realty Ltd have also been seized.
The central probe agency had last year summoned KD Singh. He is a Rajya Sabha MP from of Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC).
Singh had resigned from the post of Chairman of the Alchemist group in 2012.
Who is KD Singh
K D Singh is an Indian businessman-turned-politician who owns the Alchemist Group. The group, has a presence in pharmaceuticals, healthcare, real estate, food-processing, infrastructure and tea estates, possessing well-known retail brands like Republic of Chicken.
He stepped down from his position as Chairman of the Alchemist Group in 2012 to enter politics.
Singh owns majority stake in Anant Media Private Limited, which publishes Tehelka magazine.
He is also the president of the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) and the Hockey Association of Haryana.
What’s the scam
The ED’s probe against Singh and the firm (Ms Alchemist Infra Realty Limited) dates back to September 2016. A criminal case under the PMLA as filed against him by market regulator SEBI.
Investigations revealed that the funds mobilised by the Alchemist Infra Realty firm from various investors were never utilised for the purpose for which they were collected. The funds were transferred to bank accounts of other group companies.
However, these group companies were mainly paper companies from where they were systematically siphoned off by the accused. The funds were used to purchase properties at various locations in the country.
Before 2015, the company launched an illegal collective investment scheme, also called a ponzi or chit fund scheme, and mobilised funds of about Rs 1,916 crore from the public. The firm allegedly launched the scheme “without the approval” of the SEBI and led to cheating of gullible investors.