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TN Police on alert after fly-by night operators dupe people

 
Chennai, Oct 14 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Police is on high alert after several cases of cheating gullible people of their hard-earned money were reported from several parts of the state.

On October 12, Chennai police arrested five people after they cheated almost 18,000 investors luring them to invest for huge returns.

The investors were mostly from Chennai, Coimbatore, Salem, and Tiruppur and the company had promised them with doubling their money in a quick time.

Assistant Commissioner of Police, Neelakarani, K.N. Sudarshan told IANS, "The accused who had modest educational background have cheated highly educated people. We have arrested five persons and investigations are on for the arrest of a woman accomplice."

Police said that the main accused in this case Sharath Kumar (35) was a school dropout and started the operations in the mode of a multi-level marketing (MLM) company a decade ago in Western Tamil Nadu and expanded their operations to other parts of the state.

They lured people by promising Rs 10 lakh on an investment of Rs 10,000 and told the investors that they had a stock of Iridium in Germany in a company named, 'John MacNan'. However, they did not return the money as promised and this infuriated the investors who took up the matter with the district-level leaders of the company.

A complaint was lodged at the Neelankarani police station by a person named K. Chalapathy of Mogappair and the police arrested the cheaters. Interestingly, only a handful of people came up with complaints after the arrest of the fraudsters either due to people coming to know of their illicit money details or due to the shame.

Tamil Nadu police have launched regular awareness programmes on such issues and all the district police superintendents were directed to convey the matter down the line. This was to effectively communicate to the people not to fall into the trap of such fraudsters who are into cheating people by promising the sky.

Chennai police have also busted an online betting racket and arrested two persons on Tuesday for promising huge returns in online betting.

Harikrishnan, an engineer by profession had cheated several people after taking on lease a betting portal based in Europe in which people could place bets in various casinos as well as in live sporting events.

Vignesh of Choolaimedu in Chennai got into online betting and lost Rs 87 lakh. He had borrowed money from friends and after losing all lodged a complaint with the cyber crime police who traced Harikrishnan to a five-star hotel in Chennai.

Police said that Harikrishnan when arrested had Rs 24.68 lakh, 24 sovereigns of gold, 10 mobile phones, a laptop, and a high-end car in his procession. He was also involved in cricket betting and huge money was transferred into his account and police said that around Rs 1.5 crore was in his account when it was blocked.

With fly-by-night operators on the prowl, police have advised people to check the credentials of the company before investing their hard-earned money.

A senior officer with the Chennai police on conditions of anonymity told IANS, "I have come across several cases in which very well-known professionals like doctors, engineers, and marketing people have lost their money to such fly-by night operators. Several politicians have also lost their money but no one would complain as most of this money is unaccounted and in some cases, people are ashamed of getting known as cheated despite their official and social status."

--IANS
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