Updated: November 8, 2020 6:39:36 am
Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leader M C Kamarudhin was Saturday arrested for allegedly cheating investors in his now-shuttered jewellery showroom chain—a blow to the opposition UDF alliance a month before the local body polls. The MLA, a prominent face of the Congress-led alliance in Kasaragod district, was remanded in judicial custody for two weeks.
Kamarudhin, elected from Manjeshwar assembly seat in a bypoll last year, faces allegations of cheating around 100 investors who had invested several crores of rupees in the jewellery business.
These investors had approached the police after Kamarudhin failed to pay back deposits as the gold jewellery showroom chain, ‘Fashion Gold’, wound up.
Kasaragod Assistant SP Vivek Kumar told reporters that as many as 115 cases have been registered against Kamarudhin in multiple police stations. “Of these, the arrest was recorded in 77 cases. Police have so far come across evidence for cheating to the tune of Rs 15 crore. More arrests would be recorded after verifying details,” he said.
The ‘Fashion Gold’ chain was formed in 2006 with Kamaruddin as chairman. In the following years, three more gold showrooms firms were floated, attracting 750-odd investors. Complaints from investors began trickling in during recent months after all showrooms under the banner shuttered operations.
The investors, most of them IUML sympathisers, also approached the party’s state leadership, which, in turn, asked the legislator to clear financial commitments within six months. They had alleged that the legislator and his men had drained the deposits and gold from the showrooms before it was shut down. With Kamarudhin unable to repay investors, the IUML leadership distanced itself from him, with the issue emerging as a scandal ahead of local body elections.
After the arrest, Kamarudhin told reporters that the case was politically motivated and aimed at diverting public attention from controversies engulfing the LDF government. “I was made a scapegoat,” he said.
But Congress state president Mullappally Ramachandran said: “Let law take its own course.”
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