FIVE persons arrested by Pune City police in connection with one of the multiple offences in an alleged scam of around Rs 1,200 crore related to the Bhaichand Hirachand Raisoni (BHR) State Cooperative Credit Society were remanded to judicial custody on Sunday. The prosecution said that in multiple searches conducted by the police as part of the probe, some incriminating documents have been seized.
Following multiple raids in Jalgaon district in Maharashtra, Pune City police had arrested five persons in the last week of November and had booked a few more accused including the liquidator of the Jalgaon-based BHR State Cooperative Credit Society on charges of cheating and criminal conspiracy.
Police initially on November 27 arrested Sujeet Subhash Baviskar alias Wani (42), Dharam Kishor Sakhala (40), Mahavir Manakchand Jain (37), Vivek Devidas Thakre (41), all residents of Jalgaon. On November 29, police arrested Kamlakar Koli (28). All five persons were produced before a court in Pune on Sunday, as their police custody ended. The court remanded them to judicial custody of 14 days.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Milind Patil and Police Inspector Sucheta Khokale are probing the case. The Special Public Prosecutor in the case told The Indian Express that in the searches conducted at the residential and office premises of the accused persons, some incriminating documents have been seized. The prosecution also informed the court about the probe conducted into the role of each person arrested till now.
Investigators have named six more persons as wanted accused in this case who have been identified as Jitendra Kandare, who is the liquidator along with Maheshwari, Prakash Wani, Kunal Shah, businessman Sunil Zanvar, Yogesh Sakhla.
A 65 year old retired teacher Ranjana Ghorpade had lodged the First Information Report (FIR) in this case at the Deccan police station in Pune on November 25. As per the FIR, Ghorpade and her sister were duped of over Rs 17 lakh by the accused.
Based on her complaint, police have booked the accused under various Indian Penal Code sections pertaining to cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and sections of the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors Act 1999.
In 2015, following a complaint of cheating lodged at Kothrud police station by a senior citizen Mukund Badve and other depositors, the Pune city police had arrested 12 persons including the chairman and directors of the BHR State Cooperative Credit Society. In this case, the society allegedly attracted depositors by offering 13 per cent interest on fixed deposits. Like Badve, a large number of people deposited lakhs of rupees but did not get the assured returns.
Police have since then registered as many as 81 offences in connection with the BHR State Cooperative Credit Society scam in which thousands of investors were allegedly duped to the tune of Rs 1,200 crore by misappropriation of their deposits.
Directors of the BHR State Cooperative Credit Society who were arrested in the past are currently lodged in jail. Police also said after the alleged scam came to light, a liquidator was appointed in 2016 who instead of helping the investors allegedly cheated them by conspiring with other accused persons to prepare forged documents of movable and immovable assets of the BHR State Cooperative Credit Society.
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After a fresh offence was lodged by complainant Ghorpade, police teams under the supervision of Deputy Commissioner of Police (EOW) Bhagyashri Navtake raided the house, offices of the accused persons including bank liquidator Kandare, businessman Zanvar, Vivek Thakre, who is known to be leader of depositors’ organisation and other places. Police recovered several documents and electronic devices from the spots.
Police told the court that the accused persons allegedly sold the society’s property illegally to Zanvar. Police said, despite having an official website, the accused persons also allegedly hired Kunal Shah from Ahmedabad for constructing a fake website of the society on which false information regarding sale of its properties was posted. Police said the accused also got from Shah a new software using which they allegedly changed amounts in loan cases and deposits illegally. Then the accused allegedly tried to scare the investors by saying the society had gone bankrupt. The accused further cheated the investors by purchasing their deposit receipts at about 30 percent rebates and using the remaining 70 percent amount for personal gains.
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