Not A Grain Of Truth In This ‘Magic’ Metal

Times of India | 3 days ago | 22-06-2022 | 04:49 am

Not A Grain Of Truth In This ‘Magic’ Metal

New Delhi: The “rice-puller” scam being investigated as a possible reason behind the alleged suicide of nine members of a family in Sangli, Maharashtra, is rampant even in Delhi as dozens of cases have been reported in the last few years. People have lost a huge amount of money ranging from a few lakhs to several crores to gangs selling these imaginary instruments. Such is the web of deceit spun by these crooks that not only small-time traders or farmers, but even big businessmen have fallen prey to the scam. Last March, Economic Offences Wing of Delhi Police arrested a Maharashtra-based crook and his Ghaziabad-based aide for duping a businessman, Gautam Puri, of Rs 8.93 crore on the pretext of selling him a radioactive bar that could attract grains. The victim was told that the instrument would fetch Rs 11 crore per inch in the international market. However, the gang went underground after taking his money. In February 2021, a 53-year-old businessman was duped of Rs 11 lakh by crooks claiming to be in possession of a “rare metal worth thousands of crores”. In 2018, the Crime Branch arrested a father-son duo for duping several businessmen of crores. The suspects even wore anti-radiation suits while showing and testing the instrument before the victims. Investigators said businessmen and farmers were the preferred targets for such crooks. “The suspects claim to sell instruments with radioactive properties made of iridium, radium, etc and an initial investment, ranging from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 10 crore, is sought from the target,” said DCP (Crime) KPS Malhotra. The gang told the victims that the instrument would eventually be bought by US space agency NASA or other global space bodies for hundreds or thousands of crores. “To impress their targets, the crooks would claim to possess authorisation by global bodies to search and test the authenticity of such instruments. Forged documents and ID cards showing affiliation from various Indian and foreign scientific institutes were prepared to lure the victims,” said a senior police officer. In a majority of cases reported in Delhi, the accused claimed to have certificates from agencies like BARC, ISRO, DRDO, NASA and American Radium Society. Between 2011 and 2017, there was a substantial rise in such cheating incidents with cases being reported from across India. The accused belonged to Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Faridabad and Delhi. In 2018, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cautioned the public not to fall prey to people using it to market “rice-puller”, purportedly a device that was said to have magical properties. RBI said unscrupulous elements were marketing the device made of copper/iridium, which supposedly had the ability of attracting rice grains towards it. “The suspects reportedly misrepresented government securities auction circulars and notifications issued by RBI or the Centre as proof of sourcing funds for such activities on behalf of the sellers of these articles,” mentioned RBI’s statement titled “Cautionary advice on rice pulling scam”. The central bank had stated, “Such incidents should be reported to the investigating authorities. Associating with such unscrupulous persons can result in direct financial losses and people should refrain from responding to such offers.” Delhi Police has appealed to the public to immediately report any such offers made to them so that timely action could be taken against these crooks.

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Maharashtra: ED attaches Rs 78 crore assets of mill controlled by Jalna Shiv Sena ex-minister Arjun Khotkar
Times of India | 8 hours ago | 25-06-2022 | 05:28 am
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MUMBAI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) attached assets worth Rs 78.4 crore, including an over-200-acre land parcel of the sugar mill Jalna Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana Ltd controlled by former Shiv Sena minister Arjun Khotkar in Jalna district, in the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) money laundering case. The sugar mill had defaulted on payment of loan taken from the MSCB, after which it was sold at half the price to relatives and associates of a former office-bearer of the mill without following due process under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act. The MSCB scam pertains to loans that many cooperative sugar mills took from the bank and subsequently defaulted on. The MSCB auctioned such mills to recover its dues. The ED alleged that the auction process was not transparent and these mills were sold to relatives, close associates of the bank and the office-bearers of the mills. Many state ministers and politicians who were holding positions in the mills or on the board of the bank are under the ED scanner in the case. The ED said that the Jalna sugar mill along with 235 acres of land located in Jalna was sold to Arjun Sugar Industries Pvt Ltd, a company incorporated by Khotkar and others only to purchase the mill in 2012. The mill was established in 1984 on around 235 acres of land, including 100 acres of land received without any monetary consideration from the state government. It is alleged that the mill failed to repay the loan overdue of Rs 33.5 crore to the MSCB.

Maharashtra: ED attaches Rs 78 crore assets of mill controlled by Jalna Shiv Sena ex-minister Arjun Khotkar
Koregaon Bhima inquiry commission gets another extension till December 31
The Indian Express | 10 hours ago | 25-06-2022 | 03:45 am
The Indian Express
10 hours ago | 25-06-2022 | 03:45 am

MAHARASHTRA GOVERNMENT has granted yet another extension to the Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry. An order to this effect has been issued by the home department on June 20. As per this order, the commission has been given an extension of six months till December 31, 2022.The two-member commission, headed by retired high court judge Justice J N Patel with former chief secretary Sumit Malik as the other member, was constituted by the state government on February 9, 2018, to inquire into the “exact sequence” of events that led to violence on the 200th anniversary of Battle of Koregaon Bhima on January 1 that year. One person had died and several others were left injured in the violence.The commission was initially given four months to submit its report, but its tenure had to be repeatedly extended to allow it to complete its work. Subsequently, the commission received extensions from time to time. The Commission received a two months extension from February 8, 2020 to April 8, 2020. But due to the Covid-19 outbreak, on March 23, 2020, the commission issued a letter postponing the hearings till further notice. Meanwhile, the period of extension granted to the commission by the government expired on April 8.The commission then sought further extension of at least six months, saying that it intended to examine nearly 40 to 50 more witnesses, including police and revenue officers, and a few prominent political leaders. Accordingly, the state government gave the commission an extension till December 31, 2021. The commission then conducted hearings in Pune and Mumbai, but a few important witnesses remain to be examined. So, the panel sought another extension of six months from the state government.Then, the government again granted extension to the commission till June 30, 2022. During this period, the commission examined some witnesses including Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar. However, some important witnesses are part heard and yet to be examined.“So we submitted a status report of the commission and sought one more extension from the government. So far, examination of 38 witnesses is completed. And the commission wants to examine about 15 more witnesses. Government has granted an extension of six months till December 31, 2022. The schedule for the next hearings will be released soon,” said V V Palnitkar, secretary of the Koregaon Bhima Commission of Inquiry.On Thursday, IPS officers Vishwas Nangare Patil and Suvez Haque deposed as witnesses before the commission in Mumbai. Their examination in chief was recorded by commission’s lawyer Aashish Satpute. Currently, joint commissioner (law and order) of Mumbai police, Nangare Patil was the special inspector general of police, Kolhapur range at the time of violence in Koregaon Bhima area (in the jurisdiction of Pune rural police), which was under his supervision. Haque is currently attached to the CBI and was the superintendent (SP) of Pune rural police at the time of Koregaon Bhima violence.

Koregaon Bhima inquiry commission gets another extension till December 31
Maharashtra: Top police brass asked to be on alert
The Indian Express | 10 hours ago | 25-06-2022 | 03:45 am
The Indian Express
10 hours ago | 25-06-2022 | 03:45 am

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Maharashtra: Top police brass asked to be on alert