Iridium scam: Five held for cheating 18,000 people

Police say fraudsters claim it a legal business with consent of RBI done through a Germany-based agent 

Published: 13th October 2021 06:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th October 2021 06:59 AM   |  A+A-

Handcuffs, Arrest

For representational purposes

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: A five-member gang has been arrested in connection with iridium scam. According to Neelankarai police, the gang has cheated 18,000 persons across the state with a promised return of Rs 1 crore each if they invested in iridium in Germany.

While the main accused Murugesh died last year, police arrested his son Sathishkumar, who took over the ‘business’ and his accomplices Balakrishnan, Saravanan, Mohankumar and Raja. The arrests were made based on a complaint from K Salapathy of Mogappair, who runs a construction firm at Arumbakkam and lost Rs 13.60 lakh.

Explaining their modus operandi, inspector Kamalakannan said that the gang would make victims invest Rs 10,000 through their firm, named, John Megnon, with a promised return of Rs 1 crore after six months. “The fraudsters meanwhile claimed that it is legal business done with the consent of Reserve Bank India through an agent named Gayatri Suresh who is based out of Germany and received the victims identity proof and bank account particulars to deposit the returns directly. They also made victims bring in more investors for a commission and cheated 18,000 people from Chennai, Coimbatore, Tiruppur, and other districts,” said the inspector.

While the gang has been in the business since 2011, Salapathy fell prey in 2015 after he suffered a huge loss in the business. Through a friend, he was introduced to Murugesh and Sathishkumar and he deposited Rs 13.60 lakh by producing Aadhaar cards and bank accounts of 136 people.  When questioned about the delay in returns, the gang blamed the pandemic.

In September, Sathishkumar approached Salapathy claiming money was ready and asked him to book a house in Chennai to complete the paperwork. A suspicious Salapathy meanwhile lodged a complaint with Neelankarai police and all five suspects were secured. A laptop, three computers, three cars and Rs 50,000 in cash were seized from them. 

While police have included the so-called German agent Gayatri Suresh also as an accused, further investigation is on to find out whether such a person really exists. The arrested men were remanded in judicial custody on Monday.


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