|The arrested trio at SSP Amol V Homkar’s office in Jamshedpur on Monday. (Animesh Sengupta)
East Singhbhum police have busted a gang of three fraudsters who made a whopping Rs 2.5 crore by duping over 800 people in the name of renting their plots for setting up cellphone towers.
Kingpin Saday Kumar Singh (35) and aides Ashok Kumar Mahto (34) and Ram Kumar (40) were rounded up from a hotel in Golmuri on Sunday night on the basis of a tip-off. While Saday and Ram Kumar are residents of Parsudih and Bagbera in Jamshedpur, respectively, Ashok hails from Seraikela.
Six cellphones and 16 SIM cards were found on them.
SSP Amol V. Homkar said they got information about the racket from an employee of the company that the three had floated to hoodwink people, especially those hailing from rural areas. The same person informed police that the trio were hiding at Hotel Sidhu. A police team raided the hotel and nabbed them.
“The accused admitted that they lured innocent people, especially villagers, into giving a portion of their land for setting up mobile towers at a monthly rent of Rs 25,000 to Rs 40,000. After the victims agreed to rent their land, the three, who had set up Avish Enterprise Pvt Ltd, made them cough up registration fee of Rs 20,000,” Homkar said.
Saday, Ashok and Ram had set up their corporate offices at Sakchi, Bistupur, Jugsalai, Patna and Chakradharpur and appointed over 40 staff.
“In the past five years, they accumulated over Rs 2.5 crore by collecting fake registration fees from over 800 people, but when no tower was set up and they got no rent, the victims started mounting pressure on them. They shut down all their offices and went into hiding,” Homkar added.
People from far-off places like Malda, Murshidabad, Burdwan, South Dinajpur and Purulia in Bengal, Madhubani, Sultanpur, Patna, Sitamarhi and Jamui in Bihar, Bhubaneswar in Odisha besides Jharkhand’s Bokaro and Koderma were duped by the trio.