A special money laundering court in New Delhi has ordered attachment of a flat worth over Rs. 22 lakh in Maharashtra belonging to a Mumbai-based businessman accused of duping investors of Rs. 500 crore through illegal ponzi schemes.

The case had shot to prominence last year after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) got a first-time access to freeze Swiss bank accounts of Sayed Mohammed Masood, Chairman of Mumbai-based ‘City Limousine’, whom the agency is probing for floating illegal ponzi (fraud investment plans) schemes by promising extraordinary returns which were not honoured.

The agency is probing the case under the Prevention of Money laundering Act (PMLA) alongside the Economic Offences Wing of Mumbai Police.

Subsequent to pressing these laundering charges, the ED provisionally attached a flat in Pune’s Wakad area in the name of Ryewood Retreat Motels, which has Masood as its Additional Director.

The Adjudicating Authority, under Chairman K. Ramamoorthy, for PMLA offences termed the purchase of the flat “as proceeds of crime” and that it is involved in money laundering by defrauding the hard earned money of gullible investors.

The probe agencies had filed a charge sheet in this case last year stating that close to 28,000 complaints from the investors were received by them in this regard and Masood’s companies had cheated investors “to the tune of more than Rs. 500 crore”.