Mumbai: A special court on Friday directed Sayed Mohammed Masood of the City group of companies, accused of duping thousands across the country of crores of rupees, to provide details of all the 132 criminal cases registered against him in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi to the Enforcement Directorate (ED), as the agency failed to trace these cases for want of details.
The directive came about seven years after the Supreme Court had in May 2015 ordered the transfer of the predicate offences to the PMLA court. Special judge MG Deshpande said he noticed that the cases were not transferred to his court, though years had passed after the Supreme Court order, and on February 14, 2022, directed ED to depute a responsible officer to locate the cases, visit the courts concerned and take steps to get the cases transferred to the special court.
However, ED officials expressed their inability to comply with the order, claiming that they could not trace the cases for want of details like FIR numbers, police stations and the courts where the cases are pending.
In view of this, the special court on Friday directed Masood to provide these details to the agency to enable it to take steps to get all the 132 cases against him and his City group companies transferred to the PMLA court in Mumbai for a composite trial.
The multi-crore scam came to light in 2009 when the economic offences wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police registered multiple cases against City group companies like City Limousines India Ltd., City Realcom and City Hospitalities, for allegedly duping thousands by promising them unrealistic returns on their investments in various schemes floated by the group companies. The companies shuttered after collecting huge sums from investors.
Police said the forensic audit of the City Limousine India Ltd. showed that 79,146 people from Mumbai had invested in various schemes launched by the company and these investors from the city alone had put in around ₹980 crore in the company and the company was liable to pay them around ₹2,885 crore.
A total of 132 cases have been registered across Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi against Masood and his City group of companies primarily for cheating investors.
The ED has registered a money laundering case against Masood and his group companies based on the cheating cases and under the PMLA all these cases are required to be tried together at a composite trial.
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