A 33-year-old school dropout and his wife - masters of disguise and the alleged perpetrators of one of the biggest economic frauds in the country - were arrested for cheating lakhs of unsuspecting investors of around Rs 500 crore in just two years, police claimed on Monday.
Ulhas Prabhakar Khaire and his wife Raksha J. Urs, who were arrested by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Delhi Police from Maharashtra's Ratnagiri last week, had cheated 2,05,062 investors across the country by offering sound investments in the share market, police said.
"Victims were induced to invest money in their company, 'M/s Stock Guru India', operating from Delhi's Rama Road on the promise of lucrative returns and against promissory notes issued by their aliases Lokeshwar Dev and Priyanka Dev," said Sandeep Goel, joint commissioner of police (EOW).
However, Lokeshwar Dev and Priyanka Dev suddenly shut down their office and decamped with the collected funds, police claimed.
"Their scheme to induce the public at large was quite elaborate - with conferences and the distribution of attractive brochures at five-star hotels all over the country. They had multiple agents across the country who mobilised funds on their behalf," joint CP Goel said.
Arrested after investigations that lasted the whole year and saw police conducting raids at multiple locations in Moradabad, Dehradun, Alwar, Nagpur and Goa before zeroing-in and arresting the couple from Maharashtra, as many as 14,303 complaints had been reported to the EOW in Delhi alone.
"Investigations revealed 94 accounts, spread over 20-odd banks, having been opened and being operated by them in at least 13 different names and entities in Delhi and beyond," Goel said.
"In addition, 12 properties, including eight flats in Dwarka, a flat each at Bhiwadi, Alwar and Moradabad and a villa in Goa - all of which were purchased through illegally-procured funds - were identified and attached."