Mumbai: The probe into Mumbai’s biggest investment cheating case the PCL — PanCard Clubs, a timeshare company who has allegedly duped more than 50 lakh investors of nearly Rs 7,035 crore is now taken over by the economic offenses wing (EOW).
Market Regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) had earlier asked PCL not to sell any of its properties in order to refund the investors. It has also appointed retired Judge R M Lodha to sell the properties of PAL and return the refunds to the investors.
It had attached 34 PCL properties freezing its 250 bank accounts. The PCL properties included land parcels, resorts, buildings and office spaces across the country.
PCL had challenged the Sebi order in the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) which had upheld the Sebi order of restricting the firm from any further businesses.
The complaint from Narendra Vataukar (42), a Dadar resident, against PCL has thrown light into the ongoing cheating by the firm.
While another investor approached the Sebi regarding this matter who further started its inquiry in to the firm.
But when inquired, the regulator body found that this firm ran a collective investment scheme (CIS) for which Sebi’s approval was required and that no such approval has been sought from Sebi.
Speaking on it, an EOW officer said the agency has now registered a cheating case against the PCL and its six directors under sections of IPC along with invoking various other sections of the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (MPID) Act.
“PCL had come up with schemes for hotel stays. They would enrol members and ask them to invest. It would offer holiday packages at these hotels,” said an officer. No such benefits, services were provided to the investors.
“It was an investor who approached Dadar police station and lodged a cheating complaint of Rs 40,000. That apart, 82 more investors approached EOW with similar complaints against PCL. Sebi officials have told EOW that there are 51 lakh investors and PCL collected Rs 7,035 crore as investment. We have just taken over the probe from the police station and will start collecting documents related to the case and recording of victims’ statements,” said the officer.
A police officer reported, “Their head office at Prabhadevi is now shut,” reported a police officer, reports TOI.