Saturday, December 15, 2012

A year later, ED snags City Limouzines head in Gurgaon

Year on, City Limouzines head arrested for scam

Masood wanted for cheating, money laundering

MUMBAI: Sayed Masood, chairman of City Limouzines (India), was arrested by the Mumbai Enforcement Directorate on Saturday, after nearly one year on the run.

Masood, wanted for cheating, conspiracy and money laundering, jumped bail in December 2011.
He is wanted for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme that cheated 28,000 investors across five states, including Maharashtra, through investment companies owned by himself and family members. Masood allegedly offered investors astronomical returns on their investments, then rerouted the money through accounts abroad and disappeared.

Masood was picked up in a New Delhi market on Friday and brought to Mumbai on Saturday. He has been remanded in ED custody till December 21.

Assets uncovered by the ED so far have been valued at a total of Rs 114.42 crore. MUMBAI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is trying to find the whereabouts of Rs400 crore that Sayed Mohammed Masood, chairman of the City Group of Companies, collected from 28,000 investors across five states, including Maharashtra, by allegedly promising them astronomical returns. Masood was arrested by the ED on Saturday, after he jumped bail in December 2011.

Floating schemes offering returns as high as 48%, Masood allegedly cheated investors across Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi through his companies, City Limouzines (India) Ltd and City Realcom Ltd among others.

Seeking his 14-day custody, ED counsel Revati Mohite-Dere informed the designated Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court on Saturday that Masood collected more than Rs500 crore from investors through his parent company City Limouzines (India) Limited and its subsidiaries.

She said the central agency has identified and provisionally attached movable and immovable properties worth Rs114.42 crore, including $12.36 lakh from Bank Credit Suisse, Zurich. Masood is suspected to have several accounts abroad in his and his companies’ names, she said.

Dere informed principal sessions judge Swapna Joshi that ED had issued him 32 summons since January 2010, but he did not appear before the agency even once.

Masood’s counsel Tushar Shah, on the other hand, pointed out that Masood was under arrest between February 2010 and December 2011 in connection with various offences, and recently the Supreme Court stayed an order of the Bombay high court which cancelled bail granted to him in a case registered with the Cuffe Parade police station.

He urged the designated judge to grant ED short custody in view of these circumstances.
Police authorities across the country, including the economic offences wing of the Mumbai police, are investigating Masood and his group of companies for cheating under section 420 and criminal conspiracy under section 120-B of Indian Penal Code.

LONG CHASE ENDS


Sayed Masood, chairman of City Limouzines, was produced in court by the Enforcement Directorate on Saturday. He will remain in ED custody for a week.

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