BENGALURU: The Criminal Investigation Department (CID), which is investigating alleged irregularities by real-estate firms in Karnataka, finally put numbers to the big fat scam on Saturday.
The investigating agency revealed that 422 cases were filed against 10 firms from 2013 to 2016. C H Pratap Reddy, ADGP of CID, on Saturday told media persons that 17,93,480 people from across the state invested Rs 3,273 crore in these firms.
Reddy said, "The 10 companies include Agri Gold, Hindustan Infracon, Dreamz Infra India Ltd and TGS Construction Pvt Ltd, Gruha Kalyan, Seven Hills and others."
He continued, "These firms convinced people to invest in their firms to get property at cheap prices. They had used film stars to attract customers. The firms also collected money illegally from many customers without giving any documents. They convinced them that investors will be given attractive interest within a year and assured flats and sites for cheap prices in and around the city."
"Most of the victims are retired government officials, including ex-servicemen, private company employees and businessmen. They showed vacant areas to the customers and lured them into parting money by promising to deliver the project within promised date," he added.
The officer said those making profits from these businesses had splurged the money in hosting parties for celebrities, including cricketers and film actors, buying luxury cars and film production. They also put the money in fixed deposits in several banks.
So far over 100 people, including those working in the companies and their promoters, have been arrested and sent to judicial custody.
Over 40 officers were involved in the probe. They gathered statements and documents from thousands of victims as evidence.
The CID officials said they have written to the government asking it to constitute a competent authority that can attach immovable properties belonging to these companies and auction it on priority so that money invested by people can be returned to them.
The CID stated that immovable assets, 430 acres of land from Agrigold, 383 acres from Maithri Plantation and Horticulture Pvt Ltd, and 205 acres from Green Buds Agro Farms Ltd have to be attached and auctioned on a priority basis. Meanwhile, the government also has to recover movable assets of the firms and hand them over to customers through court proceedings.