A 42-year-old woman, who posed as a senior executive of a major private bank and offered interest rates of five per cent per month on large deposits but disappeared after people made the deposits, has been arrested in Delhi by the Bengaluru police.
The suspect, identified as Vishalakshi Bhat, is alleged to have fraudulently collected money to the tune of Rs 30 crore from her victims who include, the personal assistant and a close relative of Karnataka housing minister and film star M H Ambareesh.
The alleged cheat who is a resident of Subramanyapura in South Bengaluru had claimed before the police that she is an employee of HDFC Life.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police (South division), B S Lokesh Kumar, said Bhat who was on the run for several days was nabbed in Delhi and subsequently produced before a court in Bengaluru.
“There are five cheating cases registered against her involving the duping of five persons to the tune of Rs 3 crore. There are many people yet to file complaints against her and we estimate that she has cheated people to a tune of Rs 30 crore,” DCP Kumar said.
In the first week of November, Bhat’s husband Srikant V Hegde had filed a missing person complaint stating that his wife was missing. When police began investigations into the case they began receiving complaints that the missing woman had cheated several people.
A woman Renuka Devi who is the sister-in-law of housing minister Ambarish alleged that Vishalakshi Bhat had cheated of Rs 72 lakhs. Similar complaints were also registered against Bhat at police stations in JP Nagar, Banashankari, Madiwala and Mahalakshmi Layout.
The police investigation so far has revealed that Bhat used to approach rich people claiming to be a top executive of HDFC Life who is eligible for a five per cent interest rate per month against deposits of upto Rs two crore. She convinced many people to deposit large amounst of money in her account.
She also cheated some people by promising good returns in some insurance policies. “We have not been able to find out what she did exactly with these large deposits of money. We are still investigating,” DCP Kumar said.