ATCR kingpin,2 others arrested-Cid cautions Investors

Pune:The state Criminal Investigations Department (CID) has arrested three persons, including the kingpin, of a multi-crore scandal. The fraud was allegedly committed by a firm Aryarup Travel and Club Resort (ATCR).

The firm had branches in Haryana, Gujarat and other states. In Maharashtra, the firm set up its offices in Buldhana, Nashik, Nanded, Solapur, Parbhani, Jaipur, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Mumbai, Jalgaon, Bhusawal, Pune and Latur. The directors of ATCR Ravindra Deshmukh and his wife Vasuda are accused of duping over 1,000 people by promising to double their money.

The main accused Pundalik Ingale was arrested from his residence at Hodgi in Solapur district last week and he has been in police custody for 12 days. Ingale is allegedly an agent and close aide of ATCR director Ravindra Deshmukh, who had been absconding after being named in the scandal in 2010.

CID’s economic offences wing (EOW) officials arrested two more persons from Pimpri area for their involvement in the case. The name of one of them, as revealed by the police, is Rajendra Sitaram Gaikwad.

According to CID, Deshmukh and his wife Vasuda had floated several schemes in Gujarat, Haryana, Jaipur, Bangalore and Maharashtra. Investors were promised annual returns of 86% to 96% if they put in Rs5,000 and more in the schemes. Investors who brought in others were promised additional returns. The company opened accounts of its investors on its website.

“The accused allotted login names and passwords to the investors and told them that their profit would be automatically transferred to their accounts. People started depositing money in the accounts. The company transferred the returns in each investor’s account initially, but later stopped citing errors in the system or similar reasons,” director general of police (CID) Prakash Mutiyal said.

CID is investigating the case under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act 1978.

According to the CID records, initially local police stations across the state were probing the scandal and had registered 45 cases. But since the modus operandi of the fraud was same in all cases, the state DGP, on May 25, 2012, ordered the CID to probe the case.

“There are 58 people involved in the case, out of which 34 have been arrested already. We have also identified 43 acre land in Rajasthan which was owned by ATCR. Besides, 17 bank accounts in which investors had deposited Rs12.5 crore have also been frozen,” Mutiyal added.

According to Mutiyal, Ingale is a close aide of Deshmukh, and has been working in his new scheme as an agent. CID has also seized documents of Ingale’s land which they are scrutinising. “Ingale has been maintaining a rich lifestyle and owns properties in different parts of the state. He has bank accounts in several banks in the state,” Mutiyal added.

Mutiyal further said, “Vasuda was arrested in 2011 and later bailed out. Since then she is wanted in the case.”

CID cautions investors

The state CID has urged people not to fall prey to such fraudulent investment schemes. “Before investing even a single penny in any private scheme, people should check the documents of the firm, scheme and its authenticity. If someone is promising more returns than the standard rates of national banks, then the investor should ask him on which grounds and how. Only an investor’s alertness can save him from being duped,” director general of police (CID) Prakash Mutiyal says.

The number of cases registered in the scam

Pune – 4, Pune Rural – 7, Satara – 10, Kolhapur – 3, Mumbai – 1, Nandurbar – 3, Solapur Rural – 5, Akola – 1, Nagpur- 1 ,Yavatmal – 2, Amravati – 1, Nanded – 1, Hingoli – 1, Jalna – 1 , Aurangabad- 1 , Parbhani – 2, Beed – 1, Latur – 1.

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