(MENAFN- IANS) Chandigarh/Mumbai, Dec 6 (IANS) In a fresh twist, the Punjab Police have arrested Shailesh Mehta – the father of absconding Mumbai scamsters Ashesh Mehta and his wife Shivangi Lad-Mehta – in a new fraud case registered by the SAS Nagar Police, an official said on Wednesday.
According to Sohana Police (formerly, Mohali) official Mukesh Sinha, the accused Shailesh Mehta, 71, was nabbed from his purported hideout at an old-age home in Ahmedabad following a FIR registered after a complaint lodged by Punjab businessman Viresh Singhal.
"We have arrested the accused (Shailesh Mehta) last Saturday and brought him to Punjab. A local Magistrate has remanded him to police custody for four days and further investigations are on," Sinha told IANS.
Incidentally, the Mehta family is now under the radar of the police of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and now Punjab, with the possibility of more complaints of cheating of investors surfacing from other parts of the country, official sources in Mumbai said.
Singhal, 78, had lodged a complaint of cheating against Shailesh Mehta and his son Ashesh Mehta (who is untraceable along with his wife Shivangi, since over six months from Mumbai), by luring him to invest Rs 1.20 crore in their 'Bliss Consultants Trading Co' in the past three years, on the promise of huge profits.
However, when Singhal wanted to exit from the company last June, he encountered serious problems withdrawing his investments plus profits, and later the accused were not available.
Suspecting something fishy, Singhal finally lodged a complaint with Sohana Police in November, which sent a team to Mumbai for probe but returned empty-handed, and subsequently traced the accused in Ahmedabad.
Ruling Shiv Sena Spokesperson Krishna Hegde said in Mumbai that the Mehtas' (above) company has allegedly cheated more than 4,000 gullible investors of thousands of crores of rupees in the past few years, and then Ashesh and Shivangi Mehta fled from Mumbai.
"I had complained to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde in July and he ordered a detailed probe into the matter. In September, the Mumbai Police have frozen five residential properties and 11 bank accounts of the fugitive couple and their companies, totalling an estimated Rs 175 crore," Hegde told IANS.
He rued that though the Mumbai Police seemed to have done nothing in the matter, the Punjab Police has managed to nab one of the family members of the accused Mehta couple.
The lid blew off the scam – which was prominently highlighted by IANS in June-July – after suspicious withdrawals-transfers of huge amounts of around Rs 180 crore to multiple accounts of the scamster couple's associates or other entities, all of which are being probed. The Shivpuri Police Station in Madhya Pradesh, stumbled onto the scam they were probing a narcotics case there linked with the Mehta couple, and other frauds of money-laundering, illegal ponzi schemes, gypping investors and common masses tumbled out, estimated to be over Rs 1,000-crore.
Police teams from Mumbai, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab have done multiple rounds of the Mehta couple's home in a posh society in Goregaon where they were last seen over six months ago.
In July, both Mumbai and Madhya Pradesh Police had issued Look Out Circulars against the couple but they remain untraced and investigators apprehend the duo may have sneaked out of the country to an unknown location.
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