The Crime Branch unit of Delhi police arrested two wanted criminals from Bengaluru for allegedly cheating investors worth crores of rupees by luring them of bogus investment schemes.The accused have been identified as Manjunatha Balanna (34) and Ameen Shariff (32) and both carried rewards of Rs 25,000 each. Manjunatha is a resident of Shivmoga and Ameen belongs to Bengaluru.
The fraud came to light when a complainant, identified as Pratyaksh Rana, filed a complaint against Manjunatha and alleged that the accused lured him to invest in his business to receive high returns.
DCP Crime Branch, Rohit Meena, said, “The complainant invested Rs 25 lakhs and the accused person didn’t return even the principal amount. The accused were at large and in September last year, they were declared proclaimed offenders by the trial in Karkardooma court, Delhi. A cash reward of Rs 25,000 was also declared on them.”
Acting on a tip-off, Sub-Inspector Samrat Khatiyan and his team scanned the call record details of the accused and zeroed in their locations. On May 1, both the accused were nabbed from a hotel in Bengaluru.
Giving further details, police said that after completing his MBA, Manjunatha started working in a private company. He then met Thirumalesh, who was engaged in a trading business. Thirumalesh asked him to provide investors and assured him that he would share 10 per cent of his profits every month. Thirumalesh, along with his friends, namely Harish and Praveen, was running an online forex brokerage firm, namely Grand bloom in Bengaluru.
Manjunatha told the police that he and his friend Habibulla Shariff, uncle of Ameen Sheriff, opened a private company named ‘Tiforp Trading Services’. They used to find several local investors to invest in their company, promising them a 5 per cent return on investment. Ameen Shariff started working with them for Rs 25,000 per month. He used to manage the office as per their directions.
Later on, Manjunatha opened another proprietorship firm to expand his business and lured investors to invest their money, assuring them high returns every month. The entire amount was transferred in the bank account of Grand Bloom. Several investors invested money in their company but they could not generate any profits, so they closed their business and ran away.
Rohit Meena said “Ameen, on request of Habibulla and Manjhunatha, got SIMs issued on his ID and gave them to Manjunatha and cousin Habibulla Shariff. They used these SIMs to call customers and lure them to invest in their company. Later on, he came to know that his cousin Habibulla Shariff, along with his friend Manjunatha, duped huge money of several persons. So, he left the company and joined some other company.”
The investors started asking Habibullah and Manjhunatha for their money and started visiting their residences. Following this, Habibullah fled to Dubai and Manjhunatha started changing residences.
Three cases were registered against them in Bengluru. Thirumalesh and Manjhunatha were arrested by Bengaluru Police in 2020 and were released on bail.