Enforcement Directorate (ED) has provisionally attached assets worth Rs 35.70 crore of Vikram Investments and other associates under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 in connection with a Ponzi investment scheme scam.

The attached immovable properties, valued at Rs 34.21 crore, are in the form of land, office spaces and residential flats in various places in Bengaluru and the movable assets are in the form of bank balance and fixed deposits worth Rs 1.49 crore, the ED said.

According to the official statement of ED, it initiated a money-laundering investigation based on an FIR dated March 3, 2018, registered by Banashankari police station, Bengaluru, against partners and associates of Vikram Investments — Raghavendra Srinath, KP Narasimhamurthy, M Prahlada, KC Nagaraj and Sutram Suresh — for allegedly cheating the general public by luring them to invest money promising high returns.

The modus operandi adopted by the company was that they were involved in collecting investments from customers on the pretext of commodity trading, offering huge returns; up to 30-35 per cent interest annually. However, they were not registered with any of the regulatory agencies including RBI. They ensured that customers would get back their first instalment as promised. This earned them trust and lured customers to invest more money after which the company stopped paying them back any money, including the principal amount.

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