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Investors duped of Rs 10 crore in Maharashtra ponzi scheme; six booked

THANE

Maharashtra police have filed cases against six employees of a private firm for allegedly duping investors of Rs 10 crore through a ponzi scheme.

The racket was unearthed after investors approached the economics offences wing (EOW) of Thane police, claiming they were cheated by ‘Aatharv4U Infra And Agro Limited’, a police official said Thursday.

After these investors filed a complaint at the Naupada police station in Thane, an offence was registered Wednesday against the six persons, including company chairman Shivaji Niphade, managing director Ganesh Hazare and directors Lukman Shaikh, Sachin Gosavi, Mukesh Sudesh and Sulindra Chavan.

“We have registered an offence against six persons under section 420 (cheating), 406, 408 and 409 (criminal breach of trust),” said Deputy Commissioner of Police D S Swami.

The case has been investigated by the EOW, he said.

The company has branches in Mumbai, Palghar, Raigad, Satara and Kolhapur in Maharashtra and in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Karnataka, police said.

A complainant said he and his relatives invested in the company since 2010 as it promised lucrative returns. The firm told the investors that it had interests in construction, travel, tourism, educational and hotel businesses and claimed the money collected would be invested into these businesses.

The customers were given the option of investing money in fixed deposits and recurring deposits for various durations on the promise of high returns, police said.

Initially the investors got good returns, but the firm failed to make payments since 2016, citing the government’s demonetisation decision and giving other excuses, and duped them of around Rs 10 crore, Thane police spokesperson Shubhda Narkar said.

(PTI)

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