Millions of Rupees Swindled by Individuals with Literary Acumen in Brahmavar

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Millions of Rupees Swindled by Individuals with Literary Acumen in Brahmavar

Udupi: Several people have been cheated by a credit co-operative Society in Brahmavar on the pretext of providing loans at low-interest rates to agricultural labourers in villages, said Dr Ravindranath Shanbhog, President of Human Rights Protection Foundation, Udupi.

Speaking at a press conference held at Udupi on March 8, Dr Ravindranath Shanbhog said that the Brahmavar police have now filed a charge sheet in the Additional JMFC Court of Udupi after investigating a case of defrauding lakhs of rupees from many illiterate youths on the pretext of providing loan at low-interest rates to agricultural labourers in villages.

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In this case, along with the two main accused Ramesh Naik and Ganesh Kumar, Bhagyalakshmi, manager of Saint Milagres Credit Co-operative Society and Niranjan, staff of the society have also been named as accused.

Manjunath, Rama Naik, Chandra Naik, Gopala Naik, Ganapa Naik, Dinesh Naik, Mahesh etc. are all illiterate agricultural labourers of Hengavalli village in Kundapur. Most of them belong to the OBC and Dalit class.

First victim Manjunath Naik:

The accused Ramesh Naik and Ganesh Kumar claimed that they were already members of Saint Milagres Credit Cooperative Society, Brahmavar. They also said, “We know Bhagyalakshmi, the manager of the society and staff Niranjan through whom we can get the loan sanctioned easily”.

The staff of the society got Manjunath’s signature on many forms and blank papers along with documents like an Aadhaar card, Ration card etc. However, this young man did not know what was in those documents and what was written.

Interest notice was received:

Manjunath was told, “We will send a membership card to your house in a few days, and after that, if you need a loan, we will provide you the loan.” Unfortunately, the membership card of the society was never received. Instead, after a gap of 1 year, a notice was received from the society instructing him “to immediately pay the interest on the loan of Rs 2 lakh.”

Panicked, Manjunath immediately went to the society and inquired about it wherein he got to know that the loan sanctioned to him had already been transferred to accused Ganesh Kumar. He inquired how all these transactions happened without his knowledge. Among the documents signed by Manjunath, there were self-withdrawal slips and NEFT forms. The staff showed that they were all signed by Manjunath.

Police Complaint:

The very next day, based on the complaint filed by Manjunath, the Brahmavar police filed an FIR against Ramesh Naik, Ganesh Kumar, Bhagyalakshmi and Niranjan. Immediately, all the four accused were arrested and interrogated. Subsequently, they were bailed out.

During the investigations, the police noticed that the accused got the signature of Manjunath Naik on the NEFT form, withdrawal slip, etc in a manner that did not raise any suspicion. The important documents were sent to RFSL, Bangalore for handwriting authentication. Subsequently, a report was received by the police in this regard. Recently, the Brahmavar police filed a Charge sheet against these four accused who are punishable under Sections 406, 408, 409, 420 and Section 34 of the IPC.

Many people are similarly cheated:

Meanwhile, Dinesh Naik, Chandra Naik, Mahesh, Ganapa, Gopal Naik, Rama Naik and others from Hengavalli village have also complained to the Brahmavar police station.

Most of them wanted a loan, but Dinesh Naik was not interested in availing the loan. He was made to deposit Rs 10,000/- with the assurance of higher interest. All of them were asked to sign some documents stating that all the depositors were entitled to free insurance. But after a few days, every one of them started receiving notices to pay the loan interest. In each case, some other innocent person has been named as surety.

Suit for Debt Recovery:

Now, Saint Milagres Credit Souhardha Co-operative Society of Brahmavar, which had given loans to these innocent people, has filed a suit for debt recovery in the Belgaum Co-operative Claims Panchayat Court. The Human Rights Protection Foundation will provide guidance and legal assistance to all these victims.

Public awareness is essential for protection from fraudsters

• Many such cases of cheating innocent people from rural areas have come to the foundation. Among these, there are many cases of cheating such as free insurance, loan sanctioning from societies, doubling of money, and getting loans at the beginning of membership in chit-fund companies.

• When the foundation examined the loan complaints received from the societies, it was observed that one innocent person was made a guarantor for someone else’s loan.

• In most of the cases even educated people are afraid to complain in writing as they are warned that “You will face the consequences if you complain to the police or government officials”.

• Citizens should not give their Aadhaar card, Ration card, Bank Cheque or Account details to strangers for any reason. Because fraudsters have already found many ways to abuse them.

• Before signing any letter or document, check with any knowledgeable person to avoid such scams.

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