Mumbai: Moving ahead in the investigations, the Mumbai Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) has frozen another 11 banks accounts and five prime properties purportedly owned by absconding scamster couple Ashesh Mehta and his wife Shivangi Lad-Mehta, officials said on Monday.
The five residential properties, worth an estimated Rs 16 crore, are in Kandivali, Goregaon, and Santacruz, while 11 bank accounts of the Mehta couple and their companies have also been frozen.
“The Mumbai Police EOW has taken prompt cognisance of my complaints and so far they have frozen around Rs 175 crores siphoned off by the Mehta couple by cheating over 4,000 investors all over India and then disappearing,” ruling Shiv Sena spokesperson Krishna Hegde said.
Official sources said that the EOW has also started questioning the relatives, friends, business associates and others in the entire scam and attempt to trace out the missing couple, now off radar for nearly four months.
Hegde urged the Mumbai Police to now expedite the necessary legal formalities to liquidate the properties and release the monies lying in these frozen bank accounts that can be disbursed among the needy investors who were gypped of their hard-earned cash.
Last month, the Mumbai Police cracked the whip on the Mehtas after Hegde demanded a probe into a staggering withdrawal-transfers of some Rs 180 crore to various associates or entities of the scamster couple.
IANS had highlighted the matter in June-July after it came to the fore when the Madhya Pradesh Police were probing a drug case which was linked to the Mehta couple. Besides a NDPS case in MP, the couple is accused of money-laundering, running illegal ponzi schemes, cheating gullible investors and other frauds totally estimated at over Rs 1,000 crore, before decamping.
The MP and Maharashtra Police have probed the homes and offices of the Mehtas in Mumbai in the past few months, but they have not been able to trace the couple.
After getting many grievances from the people, Hegde moved Chief Minister Eknath Shinde in July who directed the issue of a Look Out Circular for the couple and the Mumbai’ Special Police Commissioner Deven Bharti and Joint Commissioner Nishith Mishra to intensify the probe.