The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police Crime Branch arrested an actor and her live-in partner last week in an alleged investment scam, and followed it up Monday with the arrest of four more persons, including the son and the grandson of famous lyricist, the late Hasrat Jaipuri.
Leena Maria Paul (26), who acted in the 2013 John Abraham-starrer Madras Cafe, was arrested on Friday along with her live-in partner Shekhar Chandrashekar (25), according to EOW sources. Jaipuri’s son Akhtar (55), his son Adil (24), cousin Nasir Jaipuri (50) and one Salman Rizvi (28) are the other suspects who were arrested on Monday.
EOW officials said the scam was to the tune of Rs 10 crore, and nearly 1,000 people had been allegedly cheated since late last year.
“We received information that a group of individuals was convincing people to pay anything between Rs 5000 and Rs 5 lakh, promising that they would get at least 20 per cent returns on their investments every month. They even promised as high as 300 per cent returns. Our information indicated that they planned to flee the city within a few days, and we arrested them,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (EOW) Dhananjay Kamalakar.
The police said Leena and Chandrashekhar were picked up from Goregaon where they were staying together, and Akhtar and Adil were arrested from their Juhu residence.
Salman and Nasir were nabbed from Bandra and Mira Road respectively. “Leena and Chandrashekar were arrested by the Chennai police for a similar offence in 2013. After securing bail, they came to Mumbai in 2014 and started these schemes,” Kamalakar said.
An EOW officer added that after the duo came to Mumbai, Chandrashekhar met Adil in a gym in Juhu, where they became friends after which Adil roped in his father as well as the other two accused.
“Akhtar and Adil would promote schemes through word of mouth, and Adil would take them to meet Chandrashekhar, who would convince them to ‘invest’ money by flaunting a lavish lifestyle and would even issue bogus investment certificates to victims. We seized 131 bogus investment certificates from the Jaipuris’ residence in Juhu. Adil would pose as Chandrashekhar’s bodyguard to give the impression that Chandrashekhar was a well connected and important, and the latter even kept two fake pistols to keep up the impression,” said the officer.
Kamalakar added, “Property worth Rs 6.5 crore has been seized from the accused, including 117 wristwatches, 12 cell phones, nine high-end cars and cash. In some cases, they even issued notarised investment agreements to some victims.”
Hasrat Jaipuri, the pen name of Iqbal Hussain, wrote songs for several Raj Kapoor movies including Barsaat. He had also penned the legendary Rajesh Khanna hit ‘Zindagi ek safar hai suhana’ from Andaz.