The Telegraph
Tuesday , April 19 , 2011
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cheated investors form association

Imphal, April 18: Investors cheated by several fraud investment companies based abroad today assembled to chalk out a strategy to ban the entry of companies which siphoned off crores of rupees from Manipur in recent times.

The move followed after the latest company named Visarev which claimed to be based in Malaysia vanished after cheating crores of rupees from gullible investors of Manipur.

“We formed an association called Visarev Investors’ Association in a meeting today. A core committee was also constituted to spearhead our struggle,” one of the investors, A. Chaoba, a resident of Imphal who is well aware of how the investors operated, said.

The first line of action of the association is to convene a meeting in Imphal city soon to seek public opinion on how to deal with the fraud companies and prevent entry of such companies in Manipur in the future. The association is also planning to highlight the issue before the government authorities by submitting representations.

According to the cheated investors, the companies placed local agents in Imphal, collected money from gullible rich people through the agents by promising 100 per cent interest of the amount invested within 10 months or one year and then vanished after collecting crores.

The latest company to dupe the people of the state is Visarev. Earlier such companies called Jitnex, Forex, Travel Ventures International (TVI) and Global Wing Index disappeared after collecting hefty amounts. All claimed to be based abroad.

An investor would recruit a new investor and got some percentage of the invested money. The second in the line would recruit more and got some amount.

Visarev reportedly cheated about 1,500 people, including senior government officials, politicians, contractors and even poor people.

They lured investors by promising 100 per cent interest of the amount invested. The amounts invested ranged from Rs 5,000 to some lakhs.

“I spent Rs 25,000 to TVI. I paid the money after mortgaging my wife’s jewellery. I was promised 100 per cent interest in one year. I never got any money. My wife is still furious,” K.M. Singh, a resident of Imphal East, said.

The investors initially got some monthly money in cash through the local network of people in a chain system. After the initial payments money would stop coming, Singh said. Chaoba said the fraud companies recruited local agents through Internet. Police sources said so far no complaint was received from any individuals. As a result, no one has been arrested.

“We are aware of the problem. We are working on checking this system. Otherwise, it could become a serious law and order problem if any one of the cheated investors start resorting to violence against those who led them to the fraud investment,” a senior official said.

The newly formed association is expected to create awareness among the people to stop this practice.

“We will also consult experts on how to get back our money. We do not know what to do. The most painful part is the way we are cheated,” another investor from Imphal said.

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