Popular Finance owners hold 1760 bank accounts; Rinu Mariyam Thomas tried to take away documents
Konni: The investigation team probing the Popular Finance fraud case has found that the owners had 1760 bank accounts in various nationalized and scheduled banks in the country. Konni police inspector PS Rajesh, who is investigating the case, issued a letter to these banks directing to freeze these accounts.
Meanwhile, FIR was registered against the owners of Popular Finance in 11 cases at various police stations from Thiruvananthapuram to Ernakulam. In Konni, 3000 investors have lodged complaint against the firm. A new complaint was also registered over a deposit of above Rs 7.5 crore.
Plans to shift documents
Meanwhile, the probe team found that Rinu Mariyam Thomas, one of the directors of Popular Finance, had tried to take away documents from the head office in Vakayar. It is reported that intervention of the employees foiled her bid to shift the documents on money transfer to the bank account of Popular Mary Rani Nidhi Ltd, a LLP.
Employees at the headquarters of Popular Finance at Vakayar revealed this during the interrogation. The employees handed over the details of all investors to the police.
Challenges to recover deposit
Though the accused swindled Rs 2000 crore from investors, the police have found that they only hold an asset worth Rs 125 crore. The probe team reported that the depositors will be able to recover their deposit only if the money taken to foreign countries is retrieved.
Limitations of Police
The state government is planning to hand over the case to CBI considering the seriousness of the case. State police have many limitations to investigate as the international investments and hawala transactions are suspected in the case. Once, CBI takes over the probe into the case, investigation will be extended to foreign countries.
Enforcement Directorate has also started a parallel probe into the transactions of Popular Finance owners. With the probe under CBI, two national agencies will probe over Kerala’s biggest financial fraud.
Earlier, district police chief KG Simon had filed a report to DGP citing the investments and transactions of Popular Finance owners inside and outside the country. It is reported that the government is considering CBI probe into the case after examining this report. The probe team will hand over the case details to CBI once they take over the probe into the case.
Popular Finance holds 284 branches in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Delhi. Over 30,000 customers were cheated by the firm owners. It is learned that the Popular Finance owners have made huge money deposits in Australia and Dubai.