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Ten things you need to know about the Saradha Scam

Friday, 9 May 2014 - 11:06am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna webdesk

* The Saradha Scam was caused by the collapse of a chit fund led by the Saradha group that runs a large number of similar investment schemes.

* Nearly 1.7 million investors were affected by the scam, that led to the estimated loss of $5 billion dollars

* The name Saradha is a cacography of the Sarada Devi, the wife of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa who began the Ramakrishna Mission.

* SEBI has been investigating the Saradha group since 2009 and has persisted in its investigation even as the company tried to change its tactics and create different schemes that were in its essence chit funds.

* Sudipto Sen was the chairman and managing director of the Saradha group and was arrested in Kashmir. He was earlier a part of the Naxalite movement, and is rumoured to have had plastic surgery to change his appearance.

* The Saradha Group bought into a large number of media channels and newspapers. It employed over a 1000 journalists at the height of its fame.

It is rumoured that Sudipto Sen was the man who allegedly bought Mamata Banerjee's painting for over Rs 1.8 crore. Many TMC party members are a part of the Saradha Group. A Rajya Sabha MP of the TMC Kunal Ghosh is currently in jail in connection with the scam.

* Mamata Bannerjee announced a Rs500 crore fund to pay back low-income families who had deposited money in the tainted scam. 

* In order to fund this Rs500 crore payback scheme, Mamata Banerjee introduced a 10% cess on cigarette sales in the state of West Bengal

* Today, the Supreme Court ordered a CBI probe into the Saradha scam, stating that, "In view of inter-state ramifications, involvement of higher ups including politicians and aspects of money laundering, a CBI probe is necessary" 

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