Depositors have been left in the lurch as the owners of a finance firm based in Kerala have absconded after committing a fraud of ₹2,000 crore.
The police in Kerala have received over 200 complaints from depositors of Popular Finance, alleging they have been duped. They said they found the branches of the finance company shut when they went to withdraw deposits.
The company, headquartered in Pathanamthitta in Kerala, has been in the business of giving gold loans. It was established in the 1960s and has over 280 branches in five states, mostly in Kerala.
A special team to trace the owners, including managing partner Daniel Roy and his wife, the Kerala police said.
They said they have issued a lookout notice for Roy and other board members of the company.
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The police have registered cases under sections 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code besides a few other sections.
“The phones of Daniel Roy and his wife Prabha, who is also a partner in the firm, are switched off. We have received over 200 complaints against the firm,” an official of the Kerala police said, reported PTI.
Two members of Roy’s family were trying to flee to Australia, but they were arrested from the Delhi airport, Pathanamthitta SP K G Simon had said on Friday.
“Two family members are under custody in Delhi. A team headed by Konni CI has left for Delhi to receive them in custody for the Kerala police,” he said, PTI reported.
The police said over 1,500 investors, including non-resident Indians (NRIs) had deposited about ₹2,000 crore in the firm, which has been facing losses for some years.
As per reports, customers have said that they have not received interests on their deposits in the past few months. As many of them wanted to withdraw their deposits, the company shut all its branches to avoid bank-running and facing angry customers.