The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is preparing a list of cricketers and film personalities who have received gifts from the Pearls Group, which was reportedly running a Ponzi scheme.
According to reports, the names of India cricketers Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh have been linked to this Ponzi scheme.
The CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) are investing this alleged Ponzi scheme, which is said to be India's largest. Pearls Group was reportedly involved in a fraudulent investment operation, where a staggering Rs 45,000 crore was swindled from over 5 crore investors.
Former Austrlalian fast bowler Brett Lee was made the brand ambassador of the Pearls Group to enhance its business in Australia.
This group was mainly interested in cricket and was the title sponsor in one of the IPL teams. It was also one of the sponsors during the West Indies tour of India in 2011. It also invested in Super Fight League, Pro-Kabbadi and Golf Premier League.
Pearls Group CMD Nirmal Singh Bhangoo and three top executives — Sukhdev Singh, MD and Promoter-Director of Pearls Agrotech Corporation Ltd (PACL); Gurmeet Singh, Executive Director (Finance) and Subrata Bhattacharya, Executive Director in the PGF/PACL — have been arrested, and were sent to CBI custody till 19 January by a metropolitan magistrate on Saturday.
The Pearls Australasia Pty Limited ex-chairman has also been arrested.
According to a report on ABPlive.in, Yuvraj and Harbhajan were gifted plots by the Pearls Group. Brett Lee, too, received gifts from the company. The CBI and the ED are likely to retrieve these plots from the two Indian cricketers.
It is highly likely that Yuvraj, Harbhajan and Lee will be questioned by the CBI and the ED regarding the Rs 45,000-crore scam.