The Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of Thane police on Thursday took the custody of Shreekumar Pillai from the Mulund police in connection with the multi-crore investment scam. The 67-year-old Pillai owns S Kumar Jewellers and S Kumar Gold and Diamond firms, with their branches pan-India. Pillai is accused of duping more than 1,000 investors to the tune of more than Rs 57 crore. However, the investigators highly suspect that cheating amount would inflate to Rs 70 crore if more investors come forward with their grievances. Pillai’s assets worth Rs 60 crore has also been seized.
Briefing about the scam, which came to fore after several related cases were filed at the Kalyan and Dombivali police stations, EOW deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Sunil Lokhande said, “Pillai duped investors in Kalyan by promising them 15-18 per cent interest per month. The investors had alleged that Pillai had duped them of Rs 57,89, 37,371 crore. The amount can be more than Rs 70 crore if more investors come ahead.”
Describing the modus operandi of the accused, the DCP further said that in order to attract investors, Pillai on several occasions invited film celebrities and politicians for business promotion. The jeweller used to lure customers by offering various investment plans. In one scheme, a client had to pay Rs 1,000 for 24 months and was promised Rs 28,000 or gold jewellery equivalent value. In another scheme, 15-18 percent annual interest on deposits with a duration of a year to five years was offered, he said.
“Besides properties, we have seized Rs 12,84,476 from 24 bank accounts. The overall seized amount is Rs 60 crore. We have appealed to all the investors who have been duped by Pillai to approach EOW,” added the DCP.
A case has been filed againt the jeweller under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 420 (cheating). He has been sent to police custody till September 19.