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Many left high and dry as `money-doubling' firm closes shop

T.S. Ranganna

Viniv-Inc Souharda Cooperative used to offer 40 per cent interest on deposits and reduced the interest rate to 10 per cent

BANGALORE: Chaos prevailed at Sajjan Rao Circle here on Thursday when hundreds of people obstructed traffic for some time in the morning.

They were among the many who have been cheated by a "money-doubling" company.

The depositors have approached the police seeking action against the promoters of the company who are said to be absconding.

Viniv-Inc had been doing brisk business by handling deposits for four years. Many who have deposited money with it have been left in the lurch. Some of them said they have lost lakhs of rupees. The company is headed by K.N. Srinivasa Shastry, and its directors are Lokesh and Veerabhadrappa. All three are said to be absconding.

Shastry, who was a priest in a temple in the city, launched Viniv-Inc Souharda Cooperative sometime ago. The company used to offer 40 per cent interest on the money deposited with it.

It reduced the interest rate to 10 per cent two months ago. At the same time, Shastry stopped paying interest to the depositors. Though he kept promising the depositors that he would give them high returns, Shastry vacated the building he had taken on rent.

The company has 16,000 depositors. Shastry and Lokesh, the police said, had even collected the school transfer certificates of their children before absconding. Shastry had launched a marriage bureau to attract depositors.

Meanwhile, another company, Darshanika Souharda Cooperative Society on 5th Main Road in Chamarajapet followed suit. Darshanika, which was launched two years ago, wanted to outdo Shastry's company and was giving three times more than the money deposited with it in seven months.

Krishna Murthy and Rajendra, who were the promoters of Darshanika, have allegedly cheated 5,000 people of Rs. 200 crores. They had a branch in Chickballapur.

Meanwhile, another similar company, Akshaya, was launched by Anita Rani on R.V. College Road near Minerva Circle. It amassed crores of rupees in five months and closed shop. This company was near Darshanika.

There are many such "money-doubling" companies in the city.

One such company is in Indiranagar, which offers 10 per cent interest on the deposits.

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