KOCHI: Two weeks after the Kerala High Court ordered attachment of cash, gold and all assets in the branches of the collapsed Popular Finance, no steps have been taken to enforce the order, the depositors have said.Worried that the company will continue to siphon the money, the depositors of Popular Finance have written to DGP Loknath Behera asking him to take measures to freeze all the bank accounts, deposits, bonds and gold reserves maintained by the company and the accused persons, besides impounding their passports.
The police have so far arrested five persons, including Popular Finance managing director Roy Daniel, his wife Prabha Thomas, who is also the managing partner, their daughters Rinu Mariam Thomas and Riya Ann Thomas in the case. “However, no action to freeze the accounts or deposits has happened so far. What we are facing now is that when investors approach police station, they have been told not to come or register their complaint. Maybe due to fear of Covid-19 spread, but whatever may be the reason, it’s not very encouraging,” said Rajesh Kumar TK, a counsel for the Popular Finance Investors.
In a letter to Behera, Kochi-based Popular Group Investors Association (PGIA), Kerala, said that after the HC order, many investors of the association approached several police stations with written complaints where the “cheating, forgery and criminal breach of trust” had happened. “The SHO (station house officer) of almost all police stations stated that they are guided by the DGPs zonal circular and they claimed ignorance of the directions of the High Court. The investors were told that the police would not like to register any FIRs as more the FIRs would paint a bad picture of Kerala police in the national crime record and graphs,” said the letter by N Leelamani, retired district judge and president (PGIA) Kerala.
It is reckoned that Konni, Pathanamthitta-headquartered Popular Finance had a deposit base of `2,000 crore from about 270-odd branches. “We are told that only Rs 172 crore could be traced. So our question is what happened to the remaining Rs 1800-odd crore,” asked Rajesh Kumar. PGIA-Kerala, in its letter to Behera, asked him to direct a forensic audit into the affairs of the accused and their business concerns, joint ventures, etc. The association wants the government to give a direction to immediately freeze all the property and assets both movable and immovable held by accused persons, and order the respondent to appoint a team of forensic auditors to discover the trail of money that has been employed by the accused persons.
‘many file cases with police after hc verdict’
In a letter to DGP Behera, Kochi-based Popular Group Investors Association, Kerala, said that after the High Court order, many investors of the association approached several police stations with written complaints where the “cheating, forgery and criminal breach of trust” had happened.