The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday informed that it has arrested Thomas Daniel and Rinu Mariam Thomas of Kerala's Popular Group on charges of cheating people to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore.
The two are the Directors of Popular Finance and other Group entities in the cheating case. They were arrested on August 9, the agency said.
A special court has granted custody of both to the ED till August 18.
The ED initiated investigation on the basis of more than 180 FIRs registered by Kerala Police. As per the FIRs and information shared by police, about 3,000 depositors have been cheated to the tune of approximately Rs 1,000 crore.
"Money laundering investigation by ED revealed that Thomas Daniel and Rinu Mariam Thomas were running the entire business, which is spread across 270 branches in Kerala and other states of India," an ED statement said.
It also revealed that Thomas Daniel and Rinu Mariam Thomas have utilised the public money, deposited with various entities under Popular Group, for amassing properties and wealth and cheated the depositors by not returning their due amounts, when the same was claimed by the depositors.
During the investigation, it was found that a Proprietary Company, Popular Group Pvt Ltd. was incorporated in Australia in 2003 by Thomas Daniel.
Statements of Thomas Daniel and Rinu Mariam Thomas were recorded, wherein, both Thomas Daniel and Rinu Mariam Thomas neither revealed the information about diversion and utilisation of the funds deposited by the public nor informed about the fact that the company was incorporated in Australia, viz. Popular Group Pty Ltd, said the ED statement.
Further investigation into the matter is underway.