Mumbai: Kanjurmarg Police have unearthed a Ponzi scheme, operating under the name of 'Alpha Gold New Delhi' for the past two years, offering 100-fold returns and specifically targeting poor and illiterate women from Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai and Palghar. Word of the scheme had spread to Buldana and some women from here also came to Mumbai to invest their hard-earned money. Investigations reveal at least 500-600 women have been cheated so far and the amount involved could run into crores of rupees.
After registering a First Information Report for cheating and forgery, police have arrested a woman (name withheld) from Kanjurmarg on Wednesday, while the mastermind of the scam Mohammad Ansari, is still at large. According to police, Ansari would only target poor and illiterate women and men were strictly forbidden from attending the 'company seminars'.
To lure more women to invest in the scheme, 100-fold returns were promised to investors. The women would be asked to pay Rs 15,000 and instantly, they would be given demand drafts (DDs) for Rs 15 lakh drawn on nationalised banks. Ansari's only condition was: they could not deposit these DDs in the bank until his say-so.
Last December, Ansari held a meeting in Kanjurmarg and followed the same procedure. However, after collecting money from around 80 women, he stopped answering their calls. Fed up of waiting, the women went to deposit the DDs in banks only to find a shock in store. They learnt that the DDs were forged. The only resort left for them was to approach the police.
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