The criminal investigation department (CID) submitted a charge sheet against ICore owner Anukul Maiti at Barrackpore court on Tuesday naming nine persons, including his wife Kanika, who is now absconding.
In sheer size, ICore is far bigger than the Saradha scam that has rocked the country. While Saradha collected about Rs 2,500 crore, ICore garnered deposits to the tune of Rs 4,000 crore.
“We filed the charge sheet against nine persons, including ICore chairman and managing director Anukul Maiti. We have arrested eight persons so far in connection with this case,” said Dilip Adak, deputy inspector general, CID (operations). “The group collected about Rs 4,000 crore from the market. However, we have found the company worth about 300 crore only,” said a CID officer on Tuesday.
Kanika is also a director of the company. “Kanika is absconding and we are looking for her,” said the officer.
The IPC sections CID slapped against Anukul and the coaccused were: 406 (criminal breach of trust), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent), 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy).
“Apart from the directors of the company, there are some top agents, too, among the eight others who we have named in the charge sheet,” said the officer.
“Since 2005, showing the false documents and property, the company was cheating the people and in June 2014, a case was lodged at Belgharia police station of North 24-Parganas by a depositor against the fraudulent activities of the company.
Later, we took over the charge of the investigation but could not catch Maiti as he was hiding. In April this year, we arrested him when he went out for morning walk on Anwar Shah Road in South Kolkata,” said the officer.
Apart from Bengal, ICore spread its tentacles in Tripura, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh. It had a number of companies that was in the business of retail, iron and steel, FMCG, cement, cellphones, housing finance, gems and jewellery and apparel.
ICore started mobilising deposits from the public from 2005.
The sleuths also seized several kgs of gold and diamond ornaments from the Bhawanipore office of Maiti. He used to display these ornaments to prove the financial strength of his company.
“He would tell depositors and people of his group that if the company faces any problem, he would easily overcome it by selling the ornaments,” said the officer.