"The SEBI termed the project as a collective investment scheme, but the company had denied and said it was only trading in potatoes and agricultural and non-agricultural products and had a trade licence for that."
Kolkata, July 7 - The top boss of a city-based company, involved in collecting deposits from the public by floating potato bonds, has been arrested from Mumbai on charges of money laundering and was Monday sent by a court here to police custody till July 18.
City police sources said Sumangal Industries managing director Subrata Adhikari was nabbed from a guest house in Mumbai on Sunday.
According to the sources, the company had been accepting deposits from the people and also floated Ponzi schemes by floating potato flexi bonds.
In December last year, a police complaint had been registered against the company for defaulting on repaying the depositors on maturity of the bonds.
The complainants had said that the company's officers downed shutters when the time came for repaying the investors.
The company had come out with advertisement and television advertisements saying the funds collected from the people would be utilised to purchase potatoes from the markets on behalf of the depositors when the tuber prices were low. The potatoes would then be stored in cold storages and sold off when their prices shoot up.
The company had been under the scanner of market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) over the past two years.
The SEBI termed the project as a collective investment scheme, but the company had denied and said it was only trading in potatoes and agricultural and non-agricultural products and had a trade licence for that.
Last year, SEBI had asked the company to wrap up its potato investment bond schemes and repay the investigators.