PONZI SCHEME: Company boss arrested in India after years of hiding in Nigeria

After dodging the police for over four years, Mir Sahiruddin, managing director of Green Ray International Limited (GRIL), was netted by the CBI in Kolkata on Friday. GRIL, a chit fund company, allegedly cheated investors of over Rs 1,000 crore in Odisha and other states and diverted huge money to Dubai and Nigeria through hawala brokers.

“He had been hiding in Nigeria and returned India from Bangladesh a few days ago. He frequently changed locations in Dubai and African countries. We will produce him in CBI court here either on Saturday or Monday,” said a CBI officer.

Sahiruddin, a resident of Jaleswar area in Balasore district of Odisha, was a prize catch for the CBI as he had successfully evaded arrest attempts by police and state Crime Branch, who earlier probe the case, between 2013 and 2014. CBI took up the investigation in May 2014. Police had arrested a few lower rung employees of the company in the past.
Sahiruddin’s luck ran out on Friday when he was trying to open accounts in the names of his three wives in a bank at Rajarhat in Kolkata. “He had fled to Nigeria along with his three wives in 2013. From Nigeria he landed in Bangladesh and managed Bangladeshi passport. Posing as Bangladeshi national he crossed the border on last Monday and was staying in a rented accommodation near Rajarhat. On Friday he went to the Rajarhat branch of Syndicate Bank along with his three wives to open accounts. Acting on a tip off, we apprehended him,” the CBI officer said. CBI earlier issued a lookout circular against Sahiruddin. CBI’s Bhubaneswar SP Rajeev Ranjan formed a special team for Sahiruddin’s manhunt.
Sahiruddin along with Khalik Saha, Ayub Saha and Mir Tahiruddin floated GRIL in Balasore in 2012 and started collecting deposits from people luring them high returns. His fortune smiled and he forayed into several other trades and opened branches across the country. CBI said GRIL tied up with company in Nigeria where it acquired an iron ore mine on lease. The probe agency said Sahiruddin’s business was spread to Dubai as well. CBI suspects Sahiruddin’s links with the underworld mafias in Mumbai, Dubai and Nigeria. Talks were doing the rounds that he had aspired to meet Dawood Ibrahim in Dubai. “We will find out about his operations in Dubai and his links with the underworld,” the officer said.
An investigating official said the company had promised investors a monthly dividend of Rs 2, 000 against each fixed deposit of Rs1 lakh. On September 28, 2015 CBI raided different branch offices of the firm. Sources said altogether 12 cases were registered against the company in different districts in the state between 2012 and 2014.
State Crime Branch, which earlier probed the case, had confiscated around 20.68 acre of land of the company. While its deposits of Rs 57 lakh in 46 accounts were frozen, the Crime Branch seized Rs 9.55 lakh in cash, 246 gram gold coins worth Rs 4.16 lakh and 9.5 kg silver coins worth Rs 6.67 lakh. On February 3, 2014 the Securities and Exchange Board of India had directed closure of the chit fund firm.

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