The state government plans to set up a separate cell to curb investment-related frauds and has also promised to recover the money from the culprits.
State home minister RR Patil made the announcement while addressing members of the Legislative Council, who pointed out the increase in investment-related crimes across the city.
The legislators had raised the case of fraud allegedly committed by the online survey company, Speak Asia, which is said to cheated at least 15 lakh investors across the country. “We will set up separate cell in the Economic Offenses Wing (EOW) to curb such crimes,” said Patil. He said the state also plans to set up branches of EOW in each district of the state. “The state will make all attempts to recover the money and also seize their properties,” he added.
The Singapore-based company allegedly cheated its investors of around Rs2,000 crore. “The initial investigation showed that the company defaulted to the tune of Rs131 crore. We, however, suspect that at least Rs2000 crore has gone out of the country,” said Patil. He said that EOW officials are being assisted by Chartered Accountants (CA's) and the investigation has been expedited.
Council members also drew Patil’s attention to other firms such as Kochar Investments and Aam Financial Services, that allegedly cheated people by promising good returns. “It is poor farmers in places such as Washim and Akola who have fallen prey to these firms,” said Shiv Sena legislator Diwakar Raote.