Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ex Servicemen con their own brethren

3 dupe ex-servicemen of sites; absconding
Published: Sunday, Mar 4, 2012, 9:31 IST
By Imran Gowhar | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA

The Ashoknagar police are on the lookout for three “ex-servicemen” who were on the run after duping their colleagues of crores of rupees, promising them sites under ex-servicemen welfare organisation.

The scam came to light when the accused, identified as Guru Govind, Ningappa and PC Ganapathy, abruptly locked up their office and also shut down their website. According to the police, the trio, claiming to be ex-servicemen, launched ex-servicemen association two years ago and issued advertisements in the media offering sites for the ex-servicemen and retired government employees at affordable rates at Whitefield and Mysore Road, within two months, under the project name Indraprastha Layout.Hundreds of ex-servicemen approached the organisation and even made down payments, ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakh as advance for booking sites.

The association members claimed they had already purchased land at Whitefield, Mysore Road and the layouts are being developed by Karnataka Land Army.

However, later when investors went to check about the status, they got evasive responses. After postponing the deadline a couple of times, the association wound up the business and the members went missing. Even the website, and the telephone numbers of the organisation were temporarily withdrawn.

Ananth Krishnan P, an ex-serviceman, had invested his life time saving and is currently running from pillar to post to get back his money. He said the association members used to move in posh cars and lived lavish lifestyle with our money and finally vanished when we started pressurising them, he said.

Out of greed, the association had even started extending the offers to civilians and retired government officials later on and collected huge amounts from them too, he added.
Saurabh, son of a retired colonel, told DNA that he had paid `50,000 to the organisation, on behalf of his father, for a site on Mysore Road in 2010.

Few months later the members went underground and since then I am trying to contact them. The office is locked and the telephone numbers have been terminated, he said.

Saurabh is in touch with a few members who had invested money. I have been in touch with ten persons from the army, who had invested their lifetime savings after retirement, he said.

The Ashok Nagar police have registered a case of cheating and are on the lookout for the members of the organisation.

We have taken a few people into custody and are questioning them to track down the absconding members, a police officer told DNA.
3 dupe ex-servicemen of sites; absconding
Comment: All ESM need to exercise caution when seeking membership or services from the numerous dubious ESM organisations. The mute question how one is to check the background of the governing body?

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