KALGHTAGI: Promising high returns on investments, a Kalghtagi-based private company — Harsha Entertainment Private Limited — has allegedly duped about 8,000 investors of `400 crore. People from Kalghtagi, Dharwad, Hubballi, Belagavi, Haveri, Ankola and other parts of North Karnataka had invested in the company.
About 400 investors have filed a complaint against the company at Kalghatgi police station. The company, set up in 2000, is run by Harsha Khasnis, Sanjeev Khasnis and Shrikant Khasnis, all brothers.
The complainants initially invested small amounts. As they got the promised 7 per cent monthly interest, they were lured to invest more. But after demonetisation, the company failed to pay them the interest. When asked about the delay, the company personnel would tell them that though the market collapsed due to demonetisation, their money was safe and they would get the interest amount at the earliest.
On April 11 when the investors went to the company office, they found it locked.
The shocked investors then rushed to the company owners’ house and found it locked too. They then started making frantic phone calls to Khasnis brothers but did not get any response. However, they did not disclose about the fraud to anyone. When Minister Santosh Lad, MLA of the constituency visited the town on Saturday, the investors complained to him about the incident.
SP P Dharmendra Meena said on Sunday that oral instructions have been given to all banks to freeze the accounts of the three brothers.
Soon after the news broke out, State labour Minister Santosh Lad held a meeting with Superintendent of Police Dharmendra Meena and higher officials. More than 1,000 investors took part in the meeting. The minister heard their grievances.
Some invested lakhs and some invested thousands. It is said that almost every family in Kalghtagi taluk invested in this company. Since they initially got good returns, more people started investing in it.
The brothers who funded the Harsha Entertainment Private Limited Company cheated small vendors, real estate businessmen, advocates, teachers and even farmers and tailors. It is said some police officials also invested in the company.
Minister Lad became emotional after seeing the plight of the investors. He broke down in the meeting. He promised the investors that justice would be served and the accused would be punished.
Lad told Express, “I request the company founders to return. They should at least return the principal amount to the investors. The police have registered a case and are investigating,” Lad said.
Police grill four
The Kalghatagi police questioned four people in connection with the case, Vadiraj Begur, Ramachandra Davale, Mahesh Kammar, all employees of the company.