The Economic Offences Wing of the Crime Branch (CB) on Saturday formally took over the probe into the multi-crore Rural Welfare Development Society fraud case from Aryanad police.
Though the government had earlier ordered a Crime Branch probe, the transfer of the case was delayed owing to ongoing evidence collection by the local police in the presence of the accused in their custody.
The case involves alleged cheating of hundreds of staff who were employed by the society after collecting hefty sums as investments.
They were employed in the society headquarters at Kollamkonam and branches in Puliyarakonam and Vellanad.
Several others also deposited money with the society which claimed of being engaged in ‘transcription works’ and ‘network data mining’ works outsourced by overseas firms.
Though the investors, including the staff, were promised exorbitant interest rates, the society office-bearers defaulted the same and later went absconding. “404 complaints were received in the case and a good majority were those filed by the staff,” Aryanad Circle Inspector K S Arun, who investigated the case, said.
“The total amount would touch Rs 9 crore and three of the seven accused were nabbed,” he said.
Those arrested include the first accused and society chief administrative officer S S Satheesh, second accused and society president S S Suresh, third accused and society secretary Ganga Rani and fifth accused Anilkumar.
Ganga Rani is Satheesh’s wife and Suresh his brother. All the accused, except Anilkumar, were nabbed from Tamil Nadu by a special team of the police.
Anilkumar was held from his residence at Thamalam here.
The police on Friday completed the evidence collection with Anilkumar who was accused of putting fake signature of ‘Deputy Registrar’ of the Registration Department on the appointment letter given to the employees.
The police also collected evidence from the DTP centre in Thirumala where the fake letter pad with government emblem was produced and the firm in Overbridge where a fake seal was made.
It was learnt that the Crime Branch would constitute a team to nab three other accused in the case - fourth accused and society treasurer Rajesh Babu, sixth accused Selvakumar and seventh accused Vaisakhan.
“Satheesh said the money obtained through fraudulent means was handed over to Selvakumar who ran a blade mafia,” Arun said.