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11 arrested by CBI in Rs 49,100 crore PACL chit fund scam

Set up in 1982. PACL and Pearls Golden Forest Limited raised illegally raised money from the poor on the pretext of sale and developing of agricultural land. For 18 years, the firm managed to brandish false land allotment letters to investors.

11 arrested by CBI in Rs 49,100 crore PACL chit fund scam
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New Delhi, First Published Dec 23, 2021, 9:37 AM IST
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The Central Bureau of Investigation has arrested 11 people in connection with the Pearl Agrotech Corporation Limited chit fund scam. At Rs 49,100 crore, the PACL chit fund scam is regarded as one of the biggest chit-fund scams the country has ever seen. Nearly 5.6 crore investors were left in the lurch. 

Set up in 1982. PACL and Pearls Golden Forest Limited raised illegally raised money from the poor on the pretext of sale and developing of agricultural land. For 18 years, the firm managed to brandish false land allotment letters to investors.

The company came under SEBI radar in 1997, as PACL ran a Collective Investment Scheme without the market regulator's nod. In 2013, the Supreme Court court directed SEBI to start afresh investigation against PACL. The SEBI stumbled upon the massive fraud and, in August 2014, ordered PACL to refund the money to their investors within 3 months. But that never happened. PACL was banned in 2015 by the markets regulator.

Earlier this year in March, the Securities and Exchange Board of India informed that as many as 1,270,849 investors who had claims of up to Rs 10,000 had been overall paid off a sum of Rs 438 crore. This was after the Supreme Court, in 2015, formed a panel under retired Justice RM Lodha to liquidate the assets of PACL that had then been banned by the markets regulator for illegally collecting crores of rupees from millions of investors over 18 years. The committee, in February 2019, asked PACL investors to submit applications for refunds online.

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