The Enforcement Directorate (ED) today said it has attached assets, including shares and an immovable property, worth Rs 472 crore in Australia in connection with its money laundering probe in the PACL ponzi scam case. The central probe agency had registered a criminal case against the firm in 2015 after taking cognisance of a CBI FIR against the group, its directors and officials on allegations that "PGF and PACL collected funds from investors all over the country through a collective investment scheme in the garb of sale and development of agriculture land". It said the properties provisionally attached by it under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) are in Australia and valued at about Rs 472 crore. The agency said out of the funds (collected through the ponzi scheme), Ms PACL Limited "directly and through its 43 front companies (during the period 2009-2014) invested an amount of Rs 650 crore in its group company Ms PIPL which further invested these proceeds". "Properties worth Rs 472 crore have been attached under the PMLA in the PACL ponzi scam operated by Nirmal Singh Bhangoo.
The properties include MiiResorts Group 1 Pty Ltd and Sanctuary Cove properties in Australia," the agency said in a statement. PACL is being probed by multiple agencies. In December 2015, market regulator Sebi had ordered attachment of all assets of PACL and its nine promoters and directors for their failure to refund the money due to investors. PACL had raised Rs 49,100 crore from nearly 5 crore investors that it needs to refund along with promised returns, interest payout and other charges, as per a recent Sebi order. An attachment order under the PMLA is aimed at depriving the accused from taking benefits of their alleged ill-gotten wealth and such an order can be appealed by the affected party before the Adjudicating Authority of the Act within 180 days of the order.
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