A conman, who had managed to dupe thousands of residents by asking them to invest in his financial company, was arrested on Thursday.
Middle-aged Vijendu Prakash, a resident of Chhapra in Saran, was nabbed from the Sri Krishna Puri area in Patna by a special police team. Bonds worth Rs 2.52 crore was found on him. The police also recovered two identity cards of Prakash showing him as an associate of a media house. Two ATM cards were also seized.
“Vijendu Prakash had floated a company called Ezee Gain Marketing Private Limited and Easy Financial Services. He had an office at the upscale Sri Krishna Puri area. The Economic Offences Unit was also looking for him. He had lured thousands of people into investing in his financial company,” Patna senior superintendent of police Manu Maharaj told The Telegraph.
He added that Prakash told his investors that he was the managing director-cum-chairman of the company, which had won awards like Bharat Jyoti Ratna and Indira Gandhi Shiromani Award. “During interrogations he revealed that he had duped people in Muzaffarpur, Patna, Gopalganj, Motihari, Vaishali, Aurangabad and Saran. Also, people living in Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Bengal, New Delhi and Uttar Pradesh have fallen prey to him. We found many documents, 100 passbooks of various banks and Demat account details. This is a big catch for us,” he said.
The police also said Prakash never used to stay at one place for long and during his stay in a particular city, he changed hotels several times.
“He, however, owns a flat at Anand Shree Apartments in Patel Nagar. He flaunted fake identity cards of a media house to show he was working. He had also set up an office at Ashiana Chamber earlier,” the SSP added. Prakash told the police that he started the company in Chhapra years back and never looked back since its formation.
“He said the awards received by him were genuine and he took that advantage to attract investors. He said his company was attached to Securities and Exchange Board of India in order to gain the trust of the people. What is shocking is he floated quite a few products in the market like Ezee Mineral Water, Ezee Talcum and detergent powder, Ezee Tea, Ezee Match Box. His company had strong connections in the ministry of corporate affairs,” the officer said.
The police said the money people invested in his company was further pushed to the share market. “He used to tell people that they would get five times the money invested by them in just two years. Many people worked for him,” another police officer said.
One of his employees, identified as Ali, is in prison, the police said. “Prakash never met people. His employees used to deal with investors. He invited famous people for office inaugurations and bhoomi pujan to gain confidence of the people. He had costly cars and bodyguards to move around. Police of other states are being contacted to build a case against him,” SSP Manu Maharaj said.