The CBI has launched a probe into alleged diversion of funds to the tune of Rs. 670 crore overseas by the Pearls group, which is accused of siphoning off about Rs. 50,000 crore collected from 5.85 crore investors on the false promise of phenomenal returns.

“A letter of request seeking information on investments by the group companies is being sent to Australia and Dubai. Investigations have revealed that at least Rs. 670 crore was diverted from the funds,” said a CBI official on Sunday.

The official said Pearls group, headed by prime accused Nirmal Singh Bhangoo — who was also the chairman of Pearls Australasia — had diverted funds to an Indo-Australian joint venture named Global Road Technologies. Investigating agencies have found that it had been exploring more avenues for investments in Australia.

“Funds collected from investors were also diverted to P7 News channel and one THT LifeStyle company,” said the official.

In order to facilitate disbursal to the investors who were cheated by the Pearls group, the CBI has started handing over documents pertaining to assets worth over Rs. 5,000 crore of Pearls group company PACL to a Supreme Court-appointed committee of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for liquidation.