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RBI could have acted against ponzi firms: ED

The Enforcement Directorate, which is probing several Ponzi scams in which deposit collecting companies like Saradha and Rose Valley were involved, today said that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) could have acted against these entities as it had the power.

“RBI has the power to inspect and prosecute against these deposit collecting companies as it fell within its ambit given under Section 58(b) of the RBI Act. But it did not act,” a source in the ED said.

He said that ED had questioned both RBI and Sebi and asked about their roles in this regard.

Praising Sebi, the source said, although it did not have the power to inspect, it had started prosecution complaints against some of these companies.

“RBI is saying that its role was merely regulatory in nature. However, we have sent RBI officials a long questionnaire to which they are yet to give a satisfactory reply although the deadline is over”, he said.

The source said RBI also has enforcement powers. According to him, the replies so far given to ED “hides more than it speaks”. So, we have again asked them to come up with proper replies.

Saying that identification of substantial proceeds of the crime in the Saradha case was over, he said that some actions taken by the now-dissolved Shyamal Sen Commission formed by the West Bengal government to refund money to the depositors was causing a problem for going ahead with the legal process.

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