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Drive against dubious firms on

- Searches carried out at the offices of 10 companies in Guwahati

Guwahati, Sept. 1: Dispur’s drive against deposit-collecting companies continued today with officials carrying out searches at the offices of many such companies in the city.

Joint teams of police and civil officials, led by executive magistrates, visited offices of at least 10 companies and began scrutiny of their documents, Kamrup (metro) deputy commissioner M. Angamuthu said.

The Kamrup (metro) administration had sealed the office of Rose Valley on Friday night and that of PACL next day here as the firms could not produce any document showing permission from the Reserve Bank of India and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to operate in the state.

Angamuthu said some cooperative societies, mutual fund companies and real estate firms were also mobilising public deposits.

“We will verify whether they have all the required permissions for collecting public deposits and appropriate action according to law will be taken against those found to be operating illegally,” he said.

A source said some deposit-collecting companies did the vanishing act overnight after they got news of government crackdown on such bogus companies.

“The teams of officials found their offices locked and the signboards removed. Further inquiry into the matter is on,” he added.

A large number of depositors of Rose Valley and PACL today assembled in front of the sealed offices of the two companies and staged protests, urging the state government to ensure that they get back their money.

One of the protesters said, “Before sealing the offices, the administration should have thought about the fate of the people who had invested their hard-earned money in these companies. The offices should have been sealed after the administration asked the companies to return money to depositors. What will happen to our investments? I had deposited Rs 2 lakh in Rose Valley thinking of good returns a year on when my son will go to Delhi for higher studies. Will the government return my money now?”

Another depositor said it was sad that the state government sealed the offices immediately after KMSS chief Akhil Gogoi demanded action against Rose Valley. “But the government did not think about the fate of depositors,” he added.

CBI sources said singer Sadananda Gogoi and Guwahati-based businessman Rajesh Bajaj were likely to be interrogated further in Calcutta, as the investigators were not convinced with some of their replies.

“They are likely to be asked further questions and confronted with evidences the CBI has collected,” a source said.

In Dhubri town, the office of Amrit Project, a private money marketing agency operating from a building on H.N. Road, was locked and sealed by Dhubri additional deputy commissioner Bhogeswar Shyam today as the agency could not produce the necessary documents required to run the money networking business, an official said.


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