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Fresh case against bogus finance firm

The Economic Offences Wing of Thane police lodged a fresh case against Sachin Vichare and Rashmi Vichare of J M Freight Services at Naupada police station for duping investors.

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Thane police lodged a fresh case against Sachin Vichare and Rashmi Vichare of J M Freight Services at Naupada police station for duping investors.

In 2007,Thane police had booked Vichare couple for running a bogus finance scheme. Newsline had exposed — published on 9 March 2009— the lacuna in the police investigation,which forced Deputy Commissioner of Police (EOW) Sahebrao Patil to pull up the investigating officer Police Sub-Inspector Yadav for his shoddy work.

Now,the police were forced to initiate a fresh case against Vichare as he committed several violations. According to DCP Patil,several duped investors started writing to EOW on how Vichare failed to honour his commitment that he would continue to run the business,given to the court under Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (MPID) Act in February 2008. He also said that the process to cancel the bail of the accused granted in the earlier case has also been initiated by the police for violating the conditions imposed by the court.

As per the police investigation,Vichare had amassed Rs 34.21 crore from 2888 people who had invested in his finance scheme that boasted of huge returns of over 100 per cent. The scheme claimed that it would earn profits for the investors from renting out vehicles purchased using their money. Vichare had deposited Rs 6 crore in the company’s two bank accounts.

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After obtaining bail in the old case,Vichare disposed of all his movable and immovable assets of J M Freight Services worth Rs 34.21 crore and made it difficult for the police to recover the investors’ money.

In April 2008,the then district judge of Thane court A C Bachhao — now under suspension— had along with several riders permitted the reopening of the bank accounts sealed by the police under the MPID Act.

However,after the bank accounts were made operational,Vichare moved more than Rs 5 crore from the firm’s two bank accounts to another bank,thereby bringing the entire scheme to a standstill. The post-dated cheques issued to the investors could not be honoured due to lack of funds in the account. Only a small fraction of Rs 34.21 crore amassed from the investors were used in the business by the accused.

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The accounts were made operational at the behest of the accused persons to enable them to run the business. Vichare had furnished a figure of 962 odd investors to the court. The details of investors were sought by the court from Vichare to issue them notices for withdrawal of investment,if they chose to. Vichare did not provide the complete list of investors and the then investigating officer Assistant Police Inspector D N Mohite also failed to issue notices to the investors. Among 65 investors,who withdrew their investment under the supervision of the court,are his parents-in-laws Arun and Aradhana Shingare,and brother Sagar Vichare.

Vichare’s other violations included collecting original agreement documents from investors and conning investors into giving no-objection certificates for continuing their investment under the pretext of returning their investment. Besides failing to honour returns to old investors,Vichare after obtaining bail,collected new investments and failed to honour them as well.

First published on: 31-03-2009 at 10:46:30 pm
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