Three directors of a jewellery firm in Kolkata were arrested late on Wednesday for allegedly duping more than 300 investors of Rs 17 crore over the past two years.
The accused, Anirban Sen, Arjun Sen and Aniruddha Sen — directors of Jewellery Palace Abhusan Private Limited and its showroom Senco Jewellery Palace Abhushan — were nabbed by the Kolkata Police from their relative’s residence in New Alipore. The three were found hiding in a cupboard, police added.
Police said their investigations indicated that since 2010, over 3,000 people had invested in their bogus scheme ‘Dhanvridhi and Swarnatrisha’, which promised gold or cash at the time of maturity.
The fraud came to light when Krishnendu Bose, a resident of Bijoygarh, filed a complaint against the three at Jadavpur police station on September 4, alleging that they had cheated him in the name of a profitable scheme, following which a case was lodged.
When the police started investigating, they found that over 300 investors from Tollygunge area had complained against the three directors in the past regarding the same scheme. The company allegedly collected around Rs 17 crore from these victims.
“We have received very few complaints compared with the actual number of victims. Investigations will reveal further the exact amount of money that they managed to collect from investors spread across the state,” said a senior police officer.
A few days ago, the police went to the residence of the three accused in Rashbehari Avenue, but found it locked.
On Wednesday, they received a tip-off that the three were hiding in their relative’s home in K P Lane, New Alipore. “We reached there around midnight, but nobody opened the door. Later, the bell was disconnected from inside,” said a police officer.
However, the officers noticed someone peeping through a window. At around 1 am, they forced the door open, only to be obstructed by women relatives who allowed them to search three floors of the house but prevented them from entering the fourth floor, claiming that their children were sleeping there. They even threatened the police that they would call human rights representatives as the officers were “harassing” them during odd hours.
When the police finally managed to enter the fourth floor, they found a huge cupboard and opened it, and found the three accused hiding inside it.
“All three were sitting quietly and waiting for the police to leave the place. They were immediately arrested,” said an officer.
The three were arrested under sections 420 (cheating), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
Vishal Garg, joint commissioner of police (crime), said, “We are investigating the matter. The accused have been sent to 10 days’ police custody.”
Police said they were several such dubious schemes assuring high returns to investors doing the rounds in the state and advised citizens to do background checks on companies through the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) before investing.