COIMBATORE: There is finally some hope for thousands of depositors across the country including Chennai, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai who lost their hard earned money to the fraudulent City Limouzines India Ltd in 2009 as its properties have been attached in Chennai.
The company had by a conservative estimate defrauded around 35,000 investors from different walks of life including doctors, lawyers and journalists, to the tune of `700 crore to `1,000 crore. Nearly a year after the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) officials in Chennai had sent a proposal to the State Government for attaching the company‚Äôs seized properties including cash from frozen bank accounts, the Home Department has issued an ad-interim order attaching the same.
As per the Home Department order issued recently, movable properties and liquid cash worth `74.98 crore have been attached. The sum includes `10.81 crore deposits in current accounts maintained in 11 banks, unpaid demand drafts to the tune of `64 crore drawn on 25 banks, and vehicles worth `3.61 lakh. Some of these properties were held by its sister companies including City Realcom Ltd and Ryewood Retreat Motels Pvt Ltd. City Limouzines attracted deposits from well educated persons through a novel modus operandi. We were informed that if we deposited a minimum of Rs 1.39 lakh, the money would be invested in purchasing cars in our name and rented out by the company. Out of the profits, we were promised a monthly return of Rs 7,775 for a period of five years,‚ÄĚ says S Surender, a resident of R S Puram in Coimbatore.
The company issued post-dated cheques to investors, which were honoured only for a few months. ‚ÄúThe che- ques started bouncing from late 2009 and the staff began dodging us ever since.‚ÄĚ
Strangely, the Mumbai-based company, which had offices at several cities, had even been the official sponsor of India Women Hockey team from 2006 to 2009. Following complaints in multiple cities, the police in Mumbai had arrested its owners Masood Sayyed Jamadar and Geetha Umar Razakki. Last month, the Bombay High Court had granted bail to Masood.
‚ÄúIn TN, the company operated under 15 different names including City Limouzines, City Hospitalities, City Money, City Airlines Pvt Ltd, Bharat Ratna Dr Baba Sahib Ambedkar Pratisthan and City Cine Vision,‚ÄĚ a police officer said.