THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Tamil Nadu police’s ‘Q’ Branch have arrested two persons on the charge of duping over 100 people who had invested several lakhs in a chit fund firm operating along the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border here. Anil Kumar, a member of the chit firm’s director board and Anil Kumaran, a staffer, both hailing from Palukal in neighbouring Kanyakumari district are the arrested duo.
Palukal police said the duo is under the custody of ‘Q’ Branch at Nagercoil and their interrogation is on. The key accused in the case, including the owner of the firm Krishnan Nair Nirmalan, are still at large. Nair runs several other business establishments in the state capital, police said.
An action council formed by the investors claimed over 13,600 investors from Kerala and Tamil Nadu had deposited over Rs 500 crore in the company under various schemes. Among them were several people hailing from Parassala, Vellarada and Kunnathukal areas bordering Tamil Nadu. The investors also alleged the promoters of the company had transferred several of Nair’s properties to his relatives a few months ago.
DGP Loknath Behera had also ordered a Crime Branch probe since several of those duped by the chit fund firm are from Parassala and Karakonam. A preliminary investigation by DySP Anil Kumar of Economic Offences Wing is underway in the case. Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala lodged a complaint with Behera in this regard. Over 100 investors, including women and elderly persons, on Saturday staged a protest in front of Nirmal Krishna Chit Fund office at Palukal demanding the company pay back their hard-earned money. According to them, they had invested their gold and money in the company after the latter promised good returns. However, the firm’s promoters failed to return the investment and fled with several hundred crores.
The cheating came to light after the office failed to reopen after the Onam break. Sources said several investors had demanded their money ahead of Onam and this may have prompted the promoters to slink away.Earlier, the promoters of Nirmal Krishna Nidhi Ltd, a decades-old firm involved in chit funds and deposit collection, had also filed an insolvency petition before the Thiruvananthapuram sub-court and a legal notice was found pasted in front of the firm.
This also angered the investors and prompted them to approach the police. Sources said the firm had collected deposits to the tune of several crores from various persons, including businessmen and politicians, in Kanyakumari and Thiruvananthapuram districts. The company is said to have a strong presence in areas like the Chalai market here. It used to offer returns at the rate of Rs 1,400 per month for a deposit of Rs 1 lakh. Nirmal Krishna Nidhi Ltd also used to prompt the investors to convert the monthly payment from the deposit as chit payment so the amount could be retained by the firm.
13,600 investors from Kerala and Tamil Nadu lose lifetime earnings