Rs 37 Crore Deposited, Cash Seized in Raids on Mumbai-Based Ponzi Company

In a significant crackdown, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seized bank and demat account deposits worth approximately ₹ 37 crore. This action is part of an ongoing money laundering investigation against Amber Dalal, a Mumbai-based financial consultant, and his company, Ritz Consultancy Services. Dalal and his firm are accused of defrauding investors of ₹ 600 crore through an elaborate Ponzi scheme.

Who is Amber Dalal?

Amber Dalal, a chartered accountant, operated Ritz Consultancy Services, which purportedly specialized in high-yield investment opportunities. Known for his persuasive marketing, Dalal managed to build a substantial client base, promising exceptional returns on investments in various commodities.

The Ponzi Scheme Unveiled

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investing scam promising high rates of return with little risk to investors. Dalal’s scheme lured investors with promises of annual returns between 18-22%, assuring them their capital was safely invested in nine commodities, including gold, silver, crude oil, and natural gas.

Initial Returns and Subsequent Fraud

Initially, Dalal’s scheme seemed legitimate as early investors received the promised returns. This success story attracted more investors, but as with any Ponzi scheme, the facade began to crumble. New investments were used to pay returns to earlier investors, creating a cycle that was unsustainable in the long run.

The Extent of the Fraud

Dalal’s scheme defrauded over 1,300 investors, accumulating more than ₹ 600 crore. This massive scale of deception has left many investors in financial ruin, highlighting the devastating impact of Ponzi schemes.

International Impact

Dalal didn’t limit his fraudulent activities to India. He expanded his reach to the UAE and the USA, employing similar tactics to attract international investors. His global scheme underscores the widespread nature of financial fraud and the importance of vigilance in investment practices.

ED’s Investigation

The investigation by the Enforcement Directorate stems from an FIR lodged by the Mumbai Police. The FIR accused Dalal and Ritz Consultancy Services of running a suspected Ponzi scheme. The ED took swift action, launching a detailed probe into Dalal’s activities.

Search Operations

On June 21, the ED conducted extensive raids in Mumbai, targeting Dalal and his company. These searches revealed a complex network of financial transactions and key evidence pointing to the scale of the fraud.

Seized Assets

During the raids, the ED seized assets worth ₹ 37 crore. This includes cash, bank deposits, and holdings in demat accounts. These assets represent a fraction of the total amount defrauded but are crucial in the ongoing investigation.

Role of Stockbrokers and Investment Advisors

Dalal’s scheme relied heavily on a network of stockbrokers and investment advisors who brought in clients in exchange for commissions. This network played a pivotal role in expanding the reach of the Ponzi scheme, highlighting the need for stricter regulations in financial advisory services.

Funds Diversion

The investigation revealed that Dalal diverted approximately ₹ 51 crore from Ritz Consultancy Services’ accounts to his personal accounts. These funds were then routed to family members’ accounts and used to acquire assets both in India and abroad.

Immovable Properties Identified

The ED identified eight immovable properties in India and two abroad, linked to Dalal’s fraudulent activities. These properties are now part of the investigation as authorities work to recover the defrauded funds.

Cash and Hawala Transactions

In addition to banking channels, Dalal’s scheme involved significant cash transactions. These cash investments were later laundered through accommodation entries with the help of Mumbai-based jewellers. Hawala operators played a key role in facilitating these transactions, enabling returns to be paid to investors in India and abroad.

Legal Proceedings

Amber Dalal was arrested by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police and is currently under judicial custody. The legal proceedings against him are ongoing, with authorities working to bring justice to the defrauded investors.


The case of Amber Dalal and his Ponzi scheme is a stark reminder of the dangers of high-return investment schemes. It underscores the importance of due diligence and skepticism when it comes to financial investments. As the ED continues its investigation, the focus remains on recovering the defrauded funds and preventing such schemes in the future.

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