A case has been registered against eight people, including two directors of Gold Express Pvt. Ltd.
Mumbai: Scores of small-time investors — mostly women and senior citizens — thronged the Naya Nagar police station in Mira Road on Saturday to register their complaints against the operators of a Ponzi scheme, who absconded after cheating them of their hard-earned money after promising astronomically high returns on their investments.
According to the police, a case has been registered against eight people, including two directors of Gold Express Pvt. Ltd identified as- Maajid Saliya and Amin Malpara, who mopped up over crores of rupees and then made off with the money, leaving hundreds in the lurch.
“The number of complaints is increasing by the day. So far, two suspects have been taken into custody. All the accused will be behind bars soon.” said SDPO Shashikant Bhosale.
Mirroring a similar fraud committed by a Hyderabad-based company, the accused had floated the investment firm from an office in the posh Poonam Sagar area of Mira Road.
Painting a picture of being a multinational company with business ventures across the country, the fraudsters lured their gullible victims, by promising returns as high as 48 per cent to 60 per cent per annum on their investments.
However, a few months later, the company stopped paying returns and refused withdrawals of investments, before downing shutters, last week. “Looking at the magnitude of the crime, the case is being handed over to the Economic Offences Wing,” said SP Shivaji Rathod.
To woo members of a particular religion, which prohibits interest-based investments, the company not only promoted their schemes as a kind of partnership business based on a profit-sharing model but also roped in clerics who advised their followers to invest without any religious fear.