A 58-year-old man, who impersonated himself as a defence consultant and cheated over 30 people to the tune of Rs 3.8 crore on the pretext of providing lucrative tenders, was arrested from Uttarakhand, police said on Monday.
The accused K Venkata Krishna Murthy was arrested by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Delhi Police from Dehradun. He used to lure the victims saying he would get them contracts to supply materials to the canteens under the Canteen Stores Department (CSD) of the defence ministry, and contracts with various defence establishments all over the country and international agencies, under the government’s flagship ‘Make In India’ scheme, they said.
The fraud came to light after at least 20 victims filed complaints alleging that Murthy and his associates, through his firm, cheated them and had charged hefty amounts in advance as consultancy fees, police said.
Murthy also promised to return the consultancy fees if his firm failed to arrange orders within six months and gave post-dated cheques as security, they said.
After a preliminary inquiry, a case was registered and an investigation was taken up by the EOW, they said.
During the investigation, it was learnt that Murthy used to execute consultancy and fees protection agreement with the victims to win their trust. The victims were examined, and original consultancy and fees protection agreements were seized. The details of bank accounts of the victims were obtained and the payments made by them were verified, Chhaya Sharma, Joint Commissioner of Police (EOW) said.
The bank accounts of the accused and his company were identified wherein the amount was credited and the same were debit-freezed, she said.
“The accused person had hired several sales executives in his firm to induce more and more companies through social media platforms. Notice was issued to the alleged person but instead of joining the investigation, he left all the registered addresses of Delhi. So far, 31 victims have joined the investigation and the total cheated amount is Rs. 3,88,17,000,” the officer said.
Murthy is a chemical engineer from a reputed university in Hyderabad, but introduced himself to the victims as an IITian and that he had links with high-ranking officers in Defence Research and Development Organisation, she said.