The government has red-flagged four cooperative societies of the Sahara Group and their deposits of over Rs 86,673 crore that belonged to over four crore depositors. Most of the money went as investment into the Aamby Valley project in Lonavala Maharashtra.
The group started three of these societies between 2012 and 2014, when two of its firms were under the Supreme Court radar for not paying Rs 20,000 crore to depositors of schemes declared illegal and promoter Subrata Roy was under arrest. The fourth one was started in 2010.
The government wants an investigation against the societies after it found “highly suspect” irregularities, putting depositors’ money at “serious” risk, The Indian Express reported.
Agriculture joint secretary Vivek Aggarwal, who is also the Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies, has demanded an investigation by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) against the Sahara Group.
The societies reveal “fictitious profits” in transaction of shares of Aamby Valley. “These entities show income from sale of shares whereas such transfers have happened within the group entities only,” Aggarwal said in a letter written to the corporate affairs ministry on August 18 demanding the probe, The Indian Express report said.
Of the over Rs 85,000 crore collected by these societies, over Rs 62,643 crore was invested in the Aamby Valley project. The project was attached by the Supreme Court to recover the money of the depositors of the Rs 20,000-crore scam. Several attempts to sell the property have failed.
The Sahara Credit Cooperative Society Ltd was formed in 2010, while Humara India Credit Cooperative Society Ltd, Saharayn Universal Multipurpose Society Ltd, and Stars Multipurpose Cooperative Society Ltd were formed in 2014. All of them were set up as per the Multi State Cooperative Societies Act under the Ministry of Agriculture.
As per the records of the Central Registrar, Sahara Credit Cooperative had deposits of Rs 47,254 crore, of which Rs 28,170 crore were invested in Aamby Valley.
Similarly, Saharayn Universal invested Rs 17,945 crore in the project from its deposits of Rs 18,000 crore. Humara India, with deposits of Rs 12,958 crore, invested Rs 19,255 crore in the Lonavala project, while Stars Multipurpose Cooperative with Rs 8,470 crore in deposits put Rs 6,273 crore in Aamby Valley, The Indian Express reported.