Prabir Dey (in green shirt) and his aides with SP Hemant Toppo (seated) in Dhanbad on Friday. Picture by Gautam Dey
A special team of Dhanbad police on Friday arrested three officials of a non-banking financial company that allegedly duped hundreds of unsuspecting depositors and swindled crores of rupees.
Managing director of a Dhanbad-base Everlight Realcon Infrastructure Limited (ERIL) Prabir Dey and two other officials were nabbed from the firm’s branch office at Tundi and taken to superintendent of police (SP) Hemant Toppo’s office for interrogations.
“A depositor approached Saradhela thana around two month ago. On the basis of his complaint, we initiated action and arrested the three from Tundi. But today, thousands of people came to my office and claimed that they had also been duped,” the SP said.
Toppo added they would investigate all allegations.
The three men have been forwarded to the Dhanbad jail.
According to sources, an FIR was lodged against the chit fund firm operating from a branch office at Saraidhela after it failed to return a depositor’s money in March.
With the police swinging into action, the company officials shut its Saraidhela office and disappeared.
Even as the police were trying to crack down on the firm, it opened a new branch at Tundi and started luring people by promising attractive returns on deposits. Acting on a tip-off, police raided the Tundi office and arrested the three on Friday morning.
As the news of the arrests spread, hundreds of villagers, including farmers and labourers, thronged the SP’s office with receipts of money they invested in the company.
The chit fund firm used to offer various schemes for depositing money on daily, weekly and monthly basis. It had promised very high rate of interests.
However, it failed to return money on maturity.
A senior police officer said ERIL had offices in several blocks of Dhanbad, including Tundi, Nirsa, Govindpur etc. These apart, the company has several branches in Asonsol, Rampurhat and Burdwan of neighbouring Bengal.