Two months after filing an FIR against a multi-state co-operative credit society for duping gullible investors, the Mira Road police arrested four people, including the directors and the chairperson of the financial institution, on Tuesday.
According to the police, ten operators of Malaika Multi-State Co-operative Credit Society, including chairperson Gilbert Paustine Baptist, were booked under the relevant sections of the IPC for cheating and criminal breach of trust and relevant sections of the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (MPID) Act.
The action followed after scores of investors, especially women and senior citizens, approached the police after the society failed to return the interest as well as the principal amount of fixed and recurring deposits even after maturity.
As of now, 167 investors who have been duped have approached the police so far. The fraud is estimated to be to the tune of more than Rs. 300 crore.
The police arrested the accused, including Gilbert Paustine Baptist (60), Praksh Etappa Kotian (53) and Dinesh Timmapa Poojary (50).
“Process was on to gather information about the movable and immovable property accumulated by the accused, the list of which will be forwarded to the district collector for attachment proceedings in accordance to the provisions of the MPID Act,” said ACP Vilas Sanap.
“It’s a huge financial fraud, spread across the country and abroad," said Advocate Edgar Braganza who is spearheading the legal battle on behalf of the hapless depositors.
“All the accused have been remanded to police custody till 8, December. Further investigations were underway.” said Senior Police Inspector Sandip Kadam.
Notably, the special MPID court, as well as the Apex court, had rejected the anticipatory bail plea of the accused.
The society, which has branches in the city, Goa and Mangaluru, offered attractive returns on investments.
The Mira Road police has appealed to citizens to come forward and lodge complaints if they have been duped by the credit society.