Indian ponzi group Pearls' Gold Coast waterfront house waits for buyer

Indian ponzi group Pearls' Gold Coast waterfront house waits for buyer
Indian ponzi group Pearls' Gold Coast waterfront house waits for buyer

A waterfront property in Sanctuary Cove in the Gold Coast belonging to failed Indian group Pearls, which was involved in a $10 billion Ponzi scheme, has been on the market for more than a year a deal for more than $4 million fell through. 

The 1019-20 Edgecliff Drive house was bought for $4.95 million in 2011, a year after Pearls picked up the Sheraton Mirage Hotel on the Southport Spit for $62.5 million.

The Sheraton was sold in January for $140 million and last year Pearls’ major Australian vehicle, which had been renamed the Mii group, exited its interest in a beachfront Surfers Paradise site, the Gold Coast Bulletin reported.

Last year, a caveat by the Queensland government temporarily blocked the sale of the Gold Coast Sheraton Mirage resort to help class action lawyers seeking to take control of it in the interests of Indian investors.

In 2009, before its collapse, India’s $10 billion failed Pearls Ponzi scheme brought more than $100 million of the scheme’s money to Australia, buying the Sheraton Mirage.

Pearls was spruiked in India by Australian cricketer Brett Lee, who was paid $300,000 for his services. It promised investors huge ­returns if they invested in land parcels across India.

It appears the net proceeds of the Pearls sales, including those from the Sanctuary Cove house, ultimately will end up with the Indian government for disbursement to investors caught up in the Ponzi scheme.

India’s financial markets watchdog, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, has been handling the selloff of Pearls assets, which in India have included a swag of properties and 79 luxury cars.

Last May, the fully-furnished Sanctuary Cove house didn’t sell at auction. It drew an unsuccessful top bid of $4.6 million.

Later, a $5.5 million tag was put on the house.

The agents marketing the home are tight-lipped but word is that multiple offers have followed from buyers wanting to tap into a rising Sanctuary Cove market but those offers haven’t found favour with SEBI.

The house is owned by Pearls Infrastructure Projects.

The five-bedroom house, bought for $3.7 million, has a lift, parking for six cars, and a jetty.

Pearls Infrastructure later increased the size of the land-holding to 1,700 sqm by spending $1.25 million on an adjoining lot and created a waterfront entertaining area, complete with marquee.

The Gold Coast Bulletin reported among the Pearls-related parties known to have used the Cove house included Barinda Kaur, daughter of Pearls founder Nirmal Singh Bhangoo.

Four years ago Barinda was involved in a legal wrangle after a company she owned failed to settle the $7 million purchase of the 64 Ferny Avenue office tower in Surfers Paradise.

The building subsequently sold to Chinese investors for $6.187 million.

Barinda’s father is facing charges over the Pearls collapse and was languishing in an Indian jail until he was transferred last year to a hospital.

He allegedly duped more than five million investors when the Pearls group promised them agricultural plots and healthy returns on their funds.

Gold Coast Financial Scam


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