SEBI warns against investing in two Bengal ‘ponzi’ firms

Kolkata, May 19 (IANS) Continuing the heat on ponzi firms in the wake of the Saradha scam, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Sunday issued caution advertisements against two West Bengal based companies which have been raising funds under the collective investment schemes (CIS).

In the advertisement carried in leading national and local dailies, SEBI warned the general public against investing in Rose Valley Real Estate and Construction and MPS Greenery Developers Ltd.

Stating that neither the Rose Valley nor the MPS Greenery has a certificate of registration to run a CIS, the SEBI advised against investing in any of the mentioned companies, and warned that the onus of investing in such schemes would be at investors’ “own risk and responsibility”.

The SEBI earlier had made an order against one of the companies of the Rose Valley directing it not to collect any money from investors or to launch a scheme, not to dispose/alienate any of its assets and not to divert any funds raised from the public.

The January 2011 order of the SEBI against Rose Valley’s CIS schemes was challenged by the company in the Calcutta High Court.

“As per the high court’s order dated May 3, 2013, the hearing in this matter has concluded and the judgment is reserved. The general public is hereby cautioned that none of the companies of Rose Valley Group have obtained a certificate of registration from SEBI to run a CIS to raise money from investors,” the advertisement said.

After the chit-funded Saradha Group collapsed unable to repay to lakhs of depositors, the capital markets watchdog has been regularly issuing advertisements in major national and regional dailies drawing investors’ attention to such dubious schemes promising high returns.

On the other hand, a hoard of companies engaged in raising funds under such schemes has been talking to media to allay investor fears.

Several such companies, including Rose Valley, MPS Greenery, Prayag Group, I-Core, have come up with advertisements in various print and electronic media, assuring their investors.

Following the Saradha collapse, investors have been making a beeline against the offices of the ponzi firms seeking refund of their investment. Over a dozen agents, investors and operators of such companies have committed suicide across West Bengal since the scam broke out.

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