Realising well that no one likes to bet on a lame horse, a city-based investment company had bought 34 Mercedes, 24 Tata Safaris and a few more luxury cars as gifts for its prospective investors and business partners.
The fleet of luxury sedans, all to lure investors, was purchased last year by V Care Multi Trade Private Limited, a company that duped hundreds of investors for several crores before packing up its business.
While the muck behind the purchase is yet to be probed, the multi-crore deal came to light only recently when one of the recipients of the prized gift approached the police alleging that the dealer Ring Road based SRM Motors was blocking registration formalities for a Tata Safari gifted to him.
The dealer informed the police that the company owner, Gurjeet Singh, had purchased 24 Tata Safaris and some Tata Indigo cars from his showroom between December 2011 and February 2012 but the full amount was not paid.
"The payment was made through two cheques of Rs. 2 crore and Rs. 1.5 crore, both of which bounced forcing us to block the registration of vehicles," said Atul Khare, senior executive of the motor showroom. "We delivered the cars on the reputation of the customer, who had earlier bought seven Tata Safari SUVs and cleared the payment in a few days," said Khare.
Interestingly, though the registration procedure of these vehicles is blocked, the cars remain untraceable as they were distributed to investors from different districts and states. The FIR against the owners was lodged at the Krishna Nagar police station in July and the owner along with his wife Madhumita Kaur was arrested in Lucknow on August 30.
The company had set up its office in a rented accommodation in the Krishna Nagar area of the state capital around two years ago. Police said the investors have registered FIRs against the investment company in other districts and states too. The probe revealed that the company owner had purchased 34 Mercedes cars from Delhi on temporary registration numbers and distributed it to his company directors in different states.
All the purchases were made in 2011 and the vehicles remain untraceable. "The payments for most of the Mercedes cars have been made but we are collecting more details for the deal," claimed Khare while adding that he came to know about the Mercedes deal when SRM Motors got the agency for Mercedes in the city recently.
Krishna Nagar police station in charge VM Singh said the police are investigating the multi-crore frauds.