Rajasthan’s multi-crore radioactive material fraud began from an advertorial
The advertorial was about a precious radioactive anti-metal, one gram of which cost 25 million US dollars. The advertorial said this travels to different planets. This gave one of the accused an idea about duping people in the name of radioactive material.Updated: Mar 25, 2019 10:38 IST
The multi-crore radioactive material fraud in Rajasthan, in which 18 people have been arrested on the charges of duping seven people of Rs 24 crore, began with an advertorial in a Hindi newspaper. Satyanarayan Anoriya, 45, and Dinesh Arya, 61, got the idea of conning people from this advertorial, police investigation has found.
The advertorial was about a precious radioactive anti-metal, one gram of which cost 25 million US dollars. The advertorial said this travels to different planets. This gave Anoriya idea about duping people in the name of radioactive material.
Anoriya had little schooling and worked as supervisor of sanitation workers in Jaipur Municipal Corporation for some time, and Arya said he is a homoeopath.
Police said they were earlier charged with duping people with fake antiques and artefact. The fraud was born in the minds of these two.
Three friends from Pune, Yogesh Soni, Girish Soni and Sameer Mohite, became their first targets.
Mohite runs a restaurant and Yogesh and Girish visit him almost every day. Another local, Yusuf Lalu Sane, was a regular to Mohite’s restaurant. One day he told the three friends about a rare radioactive material about which, he said, he had heard from his friend Prem Shankar, who came to know about it from his friend Wadhwani (police are yet to know his first name).
Yogesh, Girish and Mohite got interested in the deal because it promised a huge profit.
“Anoriya and Arya told us that the price of the radioactive dancing doll in the international market was Rs 7,000 crore for an inch. The money was so big that we got blinded by it and decided to play along,” Yogesh Soni told the police.
The three Pune men were told that they need to pay for testing of the material and would get half the profit from its sale. The doll is 58 inches.
They travelled to Jaipur to meet Anoriya and Arya and see the product.
“We came here in June last year. We were shown an idol in a box. They showed us documents which were signed by Dr G Satheesh Reddy, a scientist at Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). They said they were unable to sell the product themselves because they didn’t have the money for testing,” said Yogesh Soni.
In the investigation, it was found that the DRDO scientist and the documents were fake and were used to win the Pune men’s trust.
After Anoriya and Arya roped in the gullible three, they began searching for a firm that had a name in the nuclear world. The firm would be used in testing of the product, they said.
This took them to Mumbai-based Rencel Energy and Metal Limited. Anoriya and Arya met company’s owner Ganesh Ingole and told him about the fraud. He became part of the gang.
Meanwhile, the Pune men Googled Rancel and found that the company was a member of the World Nuclear Association and other international forums. They had a meeting with Rancel’s client relationship manager, Amit Gupta, in Delhi.
“During the meeting, Gupta showed us photographs of the company participating in international energy summits and said that they have office in London too. Gupta was short of time and said he had to catch a flight for Paris. He said the second meeting could be held in Rancel’s office at a commercial building in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai,” Yogesh Soni said.
Nothing seemed suspicious. In the second meeting, Ingole told the Pune trio that he was ready to buy the radioactive product after testing. He took an advance of Rs 65 lakh for testing and signed a contract with the three men.
Anoriya, Arya and Ingole set up a fake laboratory in Malviya Nagar and hoisted fake DRDO and NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the USA) scientists to supervise the testing of the product.
“A fake test was conducted where the fake scientists were wearing radioactive suits. We were not allowed to enter the testing lab. During test we heard a voice of blast. We all got scared,
the scientist came out of the lab and told us that the range of the product is 68 inch and to identify its exact range the product has to be taken to the DRDO. A fake van of DRDO was also called at the post and we were told that the product is been taken for further testing,” Yogesh Soni said.
Jaipur police commissioner Anand Srivastava said after this, the gang began taking money from the Pune men in the name of royalty, testing and chemical composition.
“They were getting mails from fake DRDO IDs which looked authentic to the unsuspecting trio. In six months, the gang took Rs 7 crore from them but the product was yet not available for sale,” said the police officer.
The three of them were running out of patience. One day they landed in Jaipur without telling Anoriya.
“When we visited his office in December, we found the so-called precious radioactive product lying in a corner. A local told us that he was into the business of medicines. We smelt a rat and realised we had been cheated,” said Girish Soni.
The three registered an FIR against Anoriya, Arya, Ingole and Gupta in Jaipur on March 7.
Jaipur’s additional commissioner of police (crime branch) Prasann Kumar Khamesara said the four were booked for criminal breach of trust, forgery, cheating and fraudulently using a genuine document.
Police arrested 18 people from Indore, Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur on March 9.
“When they first heard about the radioactive product, they surfed the Internet about radioactive products. They saw Youtube videos and learnt that precious metal products are hidden deep inside land in farms and near sea banks. When lightning strikes on these metals, they become radioactive,” said Vimal Singh, additional DCP (organized crimes).
After the arrest of these 18 men, four businessmen – one each from Bhopal, Hyderabad, Jaipur and Kolkata – approached Jaipur police and told them about a similar fraud by Rancel in the name of a radioactive material called R-192.
“The modus operandi was the same, only the characters were different. For Anoriya and Arya, there were Bhawani Singh Shekhawat and Binay Agarwal in this fraud. The common link was Rancel,” said the police commissioner.
Shekhawat and Agarwal ran a local news channel, BTS, until sometime ago, police said. They said they had a precious radioactive material, R-192, which was packed by former President APJ Abdul Kalam and given to them by one Brigadier Surya Dev Singh.
Naved Hasan of Indore, Nand Kishore of Hyderabad, Dilip Agarwal of Kolkata and Mahesh Chand Meena of Jaipur fell in the trap and paid the conmen Rs 4.8 crore, Rs 5.55 crore, Rs 3.09 crore and Rs 2.50 crore, respectively.
They were also charged money for testing of R-192. A similar lab was set up in a farmhouse on Agra Road.
“The four businessmen have told us that the fraudsters gave them anti-nuclear suits to wear during testing. These suits, they said, were bought from Israel for Rs 4 lakh,” Khamesara said.
First Published: Mar 25, 2019 10:38 IST