Nagpur: An unscrupulous steel trader has created ripples in business circles by his fraudulent deeds that left two nationalised banks, a cooperative bank and many traders poorer to the tune of Rs 300 crores. When the traders and other realised they were duped systematically it was too late as the conman went absconding. People have thronged the fraud trader’s shop and residence to know the fate of their money.
The victimised businessmen said that the dubious steel trader has also duped two nationalised banks and a cooperative bank run by a politician. The nationalised banks were cheated to the tune of Rs 75 crore and the co-op bank Rs 25 crore. The master duper runs a steel shop in Cotton Market area.
The conman who made a grand appearance on the business scene of the city started impressing people by his luxurious lifestyle. Though he was unknown in local business circles, he managed to impress traders by showing remarkable business transactions in a really short time. He thus quickly gained their trust. He then started trapping one trader after another. Luring them with 2-3 percent return on investment, the trickster netted some big fishes. His specific victims were those to who he used to supply goods. According to one of the defrauded traders, the said steel trader was running his steel business in a professional way and was playing in money. However, since the past days, he found himself in deep troubles. The outcome was blocking of people’s money as the con trader failed to return the money. Soon the nasty acts of the conman created ripples among the victimised traders and they started searching for him at every dark place with the faint hope of recovering their money. But the conman has vanished in the thin airs.
A shocked trader, describing his dealings with the conman, said he used to buy things in large quantities from the wholesale market and dealers, getting them at far lower prices than would otherwise have been imaginable. “The trader, who was very professional in his business dealings, quickly established his reputation among the wholesalers by honouring all his bank cheques and other financial obligations.” he said.
Many people call this ‘smarter thug’ by the name of M Pankaj. This Pankaj declared himself bankrupt but vanished from the scene with crores. Ironically, many of the defrauded traders are not approaching the concerned authorities for fear of Income Tax action. About the total amount of fraud, a trader said it could not be exactly estimated at this point of time, and speculated that the losses could add up, if traders come out in open.
– RAJEEV RANJAN KUSHWAHA