Punjab authorities begin freezing Pearls group properties


Chandigarh: Punjab authorities begin freezing Pearls group properties on directions of the enforcement directorate (ED) i various district authorities in Punjab have started freezing properties of Pearls Agrotech Corporation Limited (PACL), which is under scanner for Rs 45,000-crore chit fund scam.

The firm, headed by Nirmal Singh Bhangoo, is accused of cheating over five crore investors by luring them with attractive land deals. The ED, which is probing the case against PACL and its subsidiaries under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, has found that the firm bought a large number of assets using the investors’ money.

The central agency so far has shared a list of 1,354 such properties across several districts in Punjab with the state revenue department. It wants revenue officers in these districts to ensure no change in the ownership of these properties is done without informing it as well as the justice RM Lodha (retd) committee, which has been assigned the task to liquidate all PACL assets and compensate the investors.

A senior revenue official told HT that deputy commissioners concerned have been directed to immediately freeze all PACL properties on the list shared by the ED and make sure that there is no change in the present status of their sale deed and registration.

“It means the properties in question will not be sold, purchased or mortgaged until (we receive) fresh directions from the probing agencies,” he said.


The ED’s letter to the state government reveals that Hoshiarpur tops the list with 330 questionable properties, followed by SBS Nagar (281), Rajpura (181), Mansa (117), Ferozepur (87), SAS Nagar (68), Gurdaspur (50), Ludhiana (41) and Fatehgarh Sahib (36).

“The ED has identified 181 properties purchased by investors’ money in Rajpura. We will freeze these in the next two to three days,” said tehsildar Harsimran Singh.

He said directions have already been issued to officials concerned, including kanungos and patwaris, to implement the ED’s directions at the earliest.



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