Home Trade officials held in multi-billion securities scam

Wednesday, 27 August 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: The promoter of controversial financial services portal Home Trade Limited and two others have been arrested in a multi billion government securities scam, said Delhi Police officials Tuesday.

Sanjay Aggarwal, director of Home Trade Limited, was arrested in Surat along with his associates Ketan Seth and Subodh Bhandari Friday for duping investors of billions of rupees.

"We arrested them Friday and they have been brought to Delhi for questioning. They are in police remand till September 2," said a senior police official.

The accused persons were arrested last year after the scam broke out, shaking the Indian financial system and wiping off billions of investors' wealth. They were out on bail before being arrested again.

Mumbai-based Home Trade shot into the limelight within a short span of its launch in 2000 after it engaged Sachin Tendulkar, Bolloywood actors Hrithik Roshan and Shahrukh Khan to endorse its portal.

"Subsequently, on reading the advertisements, large number of private and public institutions invested money in this company under their various schemes," the official told IANS.

"The directors hatched a conspiracy with others to cheat the public in the name of selling government securities," he said, adding the police acted on the complaint of P.S. Infrastructure Capital Limited.

"The Delhi-based company had entered into agreement with Home Trade for purchase of Central government securities as they were impressed by representation given by the latter."

Home Trade, however, did not deliver the securities sold to P.S. Infrastructure as per rules of the stock exchange. During investigation, one more complaint of PNR Securities Ltd. was received and the modus operandi was the same.

"Their modus operandi was to allure the general public, brokers, sub-brokers wanting to deal in government securities claiming to be a professional firm," said the official.

"But the government securities, which they were claiming to sell, never existed and were actually bought from some third party. The whole deal was meant for paper only," he added.

"The accused persons misappropriated the investor money and when people started demanding their money back, the company defaulted." Home Trade had managed to collect over 8 billion through its fraudulent practices.

Positioned as the world's "first fast moving finance goods company," Home Trade now faces 21 criminal cases in India.

Source: IANS
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