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Mumbai: Man held for duping 20 investors

Investigators said the accused allegedly duped the 14 investors of Rs 20 crore through a ponzi scheme which promised a return of 180-400 per cent on investments for a period of 9-14 months.

THE ECONOMIC Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police arrested a Goregaon resident Karthick Shrivastav for duping over 20 people including five policemen and a few city doctors in connection with a ponzi scheme. The EOW probe had revealed that five policemen, including two retired API rank officers, were allegedly duped, while the other nine victims include two prominent city doctors.

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Investigators said the accused allegedly duped the 14 investors of Rs 20 crore through a ponzi scheme which promised a return of 180-400 per cent on investments for a period of 9-14 months. Of this, Rs 50 lakh was invested by the policemen.

Last year the EOW had registered a case against Shrivastav and his family members including his father Mohan, mother Vibha, sister Archita, brother-in-law Vikas and wife Priti —under sections of the IPC and the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (MPID) Act. According to the FIR, the investors were told to invest in short and long term investments through their multiple entities which would invest in many reputed ‘blue chip’ companies. The family would allegedly hold meetings with the victims at five-star hotels and would arrive in high-end cars. The meetings were allegedly chaired by Kartick and Archita, who would brag about political and police connections to lure the victims.

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However, the complainant claim that the ‘mastermind’ behind the scam, Mohan is still at large. “Mohan used to introduce himself as an RBI official and persuaded us to invest through him. He had promised me a return of 180 to 400 per cent. I started investing in 2013 with a smaller amount of Rs one lakh on which I used to get 10 per cent interest. While for a few months I used to get the interest regularly, however it stopped subsequently and I ended up investing around Rs 5 crore with him. After he failed to return my amount, I approached the EOW and registered a case against Mohan and his family members,” said the complainant. “While Karthick has been arrested, the other family members including Mohan and Vibha are still at large,” said the official.

The Shrivastavas claimed they were not able to offer the promised returns as share markets crashed and companies they invested did not perform well.While so far only five policemen have been identified, sources claim the Shrivastavas have allegedly cheated many policemen including a few senior ranking police officers who have refrained from lodging a complaint.

“I was introduced to the scheme by a policeman and was told by the accused that many senior officials were investing through him. Since policemen were investing, I thought it would be safe as the cops would have done all checks and balances,” said the complainant.

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Sources in the police say unless the cops who have been conned come forward they cannot probe their cases. “So far only five policemen including two retired police officials have given their complaints against Shrivastav, unless the others come forward we cannot probe if they too have been duped by Shrivastavas,” said an official.

First published on: 01-03-2017 at 03:25:36 am
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