Actress, kin and friends lose over Rs 37 lakh in ponzi scheme

She invested in it after being assured of good returns and convinced others to do so; four people have been booked for the same

Pratima Nikose knew the person who introduced her to the scheme, through her sister. File pic

A TV serial actress based in Mira Road has claimed that she, her family, relatives and friends, about 15 people, were duped of over Rs 37.5 lakh by four people, who lured her into an investment scheme and promised her huge returns. Pratima Nikose made a profit on her initial investment, after which she convinced her relatives and friends to invest in the company, which turned out to be fraudulent. The police have booked the four people allegedly involved in the fraud.

Tempting returns

The complainant said she knew one of the accused, Mahesh Manjrekar, a resident of Virar through her sister. Nikose said in her complaint that in 2018 her sister told her Manjrekar had asked her to invest Rs 1,000 in a company called AAFC, which was Dubai based, and had an office in Andheri. As she trusted Manjrekar, Nikose also invested Rs 1,000 on a promise that she would get 3 per cent profit every day if she got more people to join the scheme.

“When I asked him about more details of the company, Manjrekar told me that the directors of the company, Anshu Mehra and Jay Malhotra, work from the Andheri office,” Nikose said in her complaint. In 2019 Nikose was asked to download a link to an app of the company and set an account. She did so and also linked her bank account to the app. Nikose said that Manjrekar then added her to WhatsApp and Telegram groups and was asked to get more members, based on which she would get incentives and profit.

Also read: Mumbai: Woman lures Andheri man into nude video call, cons him of Rs 1.02 lakh

More investments

When Nikose got a profit of R5,000, she invested that too and received Rs 9,500 (Rs 500 was deducted as company fees). After this Nikose started buying SIM cards in the name of her parents and siblings and investing money in the company. She even convinced several of her relatives and friends to invest in it. According to the FIR, by February 2022 Nikose had invested over Rs 37.5 lakh belonging to herself, her family, relatives and friends, in the company.

Recently she learnt from her sister that Manjrekar had told her the two directors had left the WhatsApp group and had fled with the money. “I was shocked and called up Manjrekar, who told me that he had learnt about the company through his brother, Sachin, who had found the company online while searching for job vacancies. He also told me that he was unaware of Mehra and Malhotra’s locations and had not even been to the office in Andheri. This is when I realized that Manjrekar had fed us wrong information and duped us,” said Nikose. Based on the complaint filed by Nikose on June 22, the police booked the Manjrekar brothers, Mehra and Malhotra for cheating under IPC and under sections of the Information Technology Act.

article conscent loader Actress, kin and friends lose over Rs 37 lakh in ponzi scheme

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