A family in Southeast Delhi’s Govindpuri has fled after allegedly cheating hundreds of lower-income people in their locality through a chit fund scam.
The ‘chit fund’ was started five years ago by a man named Abdul Salam, with his wife Pinky and brothers Abdul Kalam and Ajju Khan, under the name ‘Friends Lucky Draw’, police said. Each investor had to pay Rs 1,000 per month for 15 months to get a return of Rs 20,000. Later, other schemes were added to bring in more investors.
On August 17, Salam and his family fled their residence, police said. A senior officer said they have received multiple complaints from people in the locality, who said the accused would encourage investors to rope in more people by offering them incentives such as kitchen appliances and blankets.
The complainants protested outside Govindpuri police station on Thursday and Friday. DCP (Southeast) RP Meena said a case has been registered.
Reena Barua (45), who worked as domestic help and lives with her children in Govindpuri, said she lost over Rs 3.5 lakh. “I heard about the group two years ago from my friend. Most of the families in our locality were investing money to get good returns. Some had even received it. I gave money to Kalam last year and got a return in two months. I was happy with the returns and told my neighbours and children to invest. This month, we were supposed to get Rs 1 lakh but Kalam and his family escaped. My friends and neighbours are fighting with me, my children are upset. We don’t know what to do.”
Razia (29), also a domestic help, said she had been investing in the fund group for five years. “We don’t have any other form of savings. This was our only way to save and earn something extra. My husband earns around Rs 5,000-7,000 a month. My mother and I collected money from our friends and gave it to Kalam every month. His wife and I have been friends for years. Both of us have small children. We trusted them.”
She said, “My family members are scolding me because I have lost more than Rs 2.5 lakh. I wanted to save the money for my child. I thought I was helping women become independent. More than 80 women have lost their money because of me.”
Kalam and his family had been living in the Govindpuri locality for over two decades.
Fayeem (24), Kalam’s friend, said, “I have known Kalam since we were kids. When he started the group, I was the first person to invest. Now I have lost more than Rs 5 lakh. I encouraged my father and brothers to invest.”
Police said they are compiling the complaints and only then will they have clarity about the magnitude of the scam.
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