AIZAWL, Nov 17 - Mizoram police have initiated a probe into a mutual fund scam in which a large number of gullible depositors were duped of crores of rupees.
A statement issued by the police said a criminal case has been registered against Aizawl-based Mizo Overseas Employment Agencies in connection with a mutual fund investment fraud, which was allegedly committed in the name of SBI Mutual Fund.
According to police, the co-owners of the firm – J Rosangpuia and Malsawmtluangpuii – have been arrested and both are currently in police custody.
The duo, who was arrested on November 4, had allegedly collected over Rs 2 crore from villagers of Darlawn and Thingsulthliah promising them 24 per cent interest on their deposits.
Earlier last week, the State Bank of India (SBI) regional manager L P Lalchangkima had issued a statement saying that Mizo Overseas Employment Agencies had collected money from depositors in the name of SBI Mutual Fund without the knowledge and approval of the bank.
“The SBI regional business office has nothing to do with Mizo Overseas Employment Agencies, and promising 24 per cent interest rate to depositors is illegal,” LP Lalchangkima had said in the statement.
Mizo Overseas Employment Agencies is a non-banking, non-financial firm, primarily involved in providing employment to Mizo youths abroad, and is owned by J Rosangpuia, an NRI who used to live in the United States, and his partner Malsawmtluangpuii. It has been reported that J Rosangpuia is a green-card holder in the United States and returned to India recently.
Sources said Malsawmtluangpuii allegedly has a history of fraud and was arrested and convicted in 2014 for her involvement in a banking scam when she was serving as a manager of Lushai Hills Finance in Champhai.
Earlier in 2008, a multi-crore-rupee ponzi scheme was busted in Mizoram, which was considered to the largest such scam in the State. That ponzi scheme was operational for around two years and the collectors had taken crores of rupees from depositors – including government officials, businessmen, professionals, faith-based organisations and pensioners – before the scheme eventually went bust.