Delhi Police has arrested a film producer from Chandigarh for allegedly duping several people of crores by trapping them into his investment schemes on the pretext of fetching high returns, officials said on Sunday.
The accused Chanderkant Sharma (41), who co-owns CineMirchi Production, has produced two movies The Great Indian Casino, which was released last year, and Lust Wala Love which is yet to be released, they said.
A probe was initiated against Sharma by the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police as it received at least 88 complaints against him.
The complainants alleged that they were trapped into a collective investment scheme floated by Sharma through his company M/s Cinemirchi Productions Private Limited. He lured them to invest in entertainment sector and other undefined projects, promising them returns of more than 70%, the police said. The promised high returns with weekly payouts was discontinued abruptly by the accused. He also vacated his Najafgarh residence and closed his Dwarka-based office before shifting his base without informing the investors, they said.
According to the police, the approximate amount of money invested by the complainants is close to 6 crore. But the number of complainants in the current case could go up and the cheated amount could go up to several crores.
Joint Commissioner of Police (EOW) Dr. O.P. Mishra said the accused indulged in extensive publicity campaigns in relation to his purported business in entertainment sector and also published his photographs with some leading celebrities of Bollywood and Hollywood to lure investors. The company invited investors to luxury hotels in Delhi and Mumbai where they held seminars to trap them in their multi-level marketing schemes. Sharma also publicised his plan to make an international movie every year, he said.
A case was registered against Sharma under various sections of the IPC, the police said.
Moreover, several of his bank accounts were traced and action was taken to safeguard the interest of gullible investors by freezing debit from those accounts. A Look Out Circular was also issued against Sharma, they said.
During investigation, we got to know that the accused continued with his investment schemes and was re-launching his fraudulent plan from an unknown destination. In the meantime, he started threatening the complainants of dire consequences if they did not withdraw the criminal case registered against him, the officer said.
The investigating team conducted raids at various locations in and outside Delhi. Raids were also conducted in Jaipur but by the time police arrived, he left the city before he was traced from Chandigarh, he added.
The accused was produced before the court on Sunday and has been remanded to police custody, the police said.