Two arrested in Mumbai for duping 700 investors of ₹40 crore
The accused claimed that they would invest the investors’ money in real estate projects at Versova and Rajasthan.Updated: Jul 25, 2018 00:13 IST
The Economic Offense Wing (EOW) of Mumbai police has arrested a husband-wife duo of an investment firm recently, who allegedly cheated as many as 700 people from the city of nearly ₹40 crore.
The accused Raeesa Poonawala, 43 and her husband Mustafa Baig, 40, had lured victims by promising lucrative returns on their investment. They claimed that they would invest the investors’ money in real estate projects at Versova and Ajmer, Rajasthan.
The arrested two and two others from the investment firm have been charged under Maharashtra Protection of Interests of Deposit (MPID) Act.
“The main accused Poonawala and her husband Mustafa were arrested recently. On Saturday, the court remanded them in judicial custody,” said an EOW officer privy to the probe.
According to the EOW, the complainant Nasir Shaikh in his complaint said that the four accused Raeesa, her husband Mustafa, Tanveer Shaikh and Nisha Khan are responsible for duping 700 people between the years 2012 and 2017 and most of the people are from Santacruz area.
“The accused had opened a company named RS Traders and at their swanky office, they would tell investors that they have huge capital and also that they lived a stylish lifestyle. They had promised investors 1.5 times of their money in the form of returns in 100-days,” an EOW officer said.
Initially, they gave returns to their relatives who also had invested money in their company. Their relatives then, through a word-of-mouth publicity, told many others about the scheme. More people then started coming to the accused people to invest their money.
“As many as 700 people invested money with the accused in cash and most of them had not even taken a receipt for the same. Raeesa, the mastermind of the alleged fraud, would tell investors that there is no fraud in her schemes and even if her scheme fails then she will return the investors’ money from the big insurance policies her first husband has opened on her name. This is how she would gain people’s trust,” an officer said.
People have invested anything from ₹50,000 to ₹40 lakh in the 100-days scheme. However, after 100-days, whenever they would ask about the money, the accused would avoid them by giving excuses. Most of the investors are from poor families. Some had sold off their homes and invested the money, while few others had taken bank loans to invest the money with the accused,” said an EOW officer privy to the investigation.
“We questioned them in order recover the investors’ money but they did not co-operate in the investigation. The other two accused had already secured anticipatory bail in the case,” said the officer.
“The four accused were arrested by the Santacruz police in similar cases some months back. Cops have so far recovered ₹5.86 lakh from the accused and are trying to found out where exactly they had routed the money obtained fraudulently from the innocent investors. We are in process of identifying properties bought from the proceeds of the crime,” another officer said.
First Published: Jul 25, 2018 00:13 IST