Vijayawada: Plot promoter Alwin Golden City Limited (AGCL), which recently shut shop, had started operations with a perfect plan.
The modus operandi of the company was similar to that of AgriGold, which went bust with the money of thousands of depositors — but with some improvisations.
They tried to earn credibility with an offer that they will give the maturity amount or the house plot one year before or a discount in the total amount, if the customer was a victim of defaulter companies like AgriGold, Abhayagold, Akshaya-gold.
Veerian Papa Rajen-dran founded AGCL in 2009 in Tirunelveli and has layouts at Nanguneri.
The company claimed that it was the largest SEZ-based plot promoter in India and it had 2 lakh plots, 1 lakh customers and 7,500 agents. The company started its operations in 2013 in Vijayawada.
It attracted customers through marketing agents and later these customers were made agents by offering 2 per cent commission.
The company offered either paying the premium after the maturity period or a 133 sq yard plot to be registered to the customers. Three types of schemes to pay monthly premiums were offered — with 3 years, 5 years and 6 years as maturity period.
Everything was fine for some days and some people got their plots registered. The business picked up and the company was able to get deposits from nearly 3,000 people.
Some people even bought the bonds from the victims of defaulter companies and joined Alwin Gold as depositors to get a discount in the premium amount payable.
P. Bujjamma was one of the early depositors with the company. She paid around Rs 4.5 lakh in the beginning and got three plots registered in her name.
Later, she paid another Rs 6 lakh for a plot at Tada in Nellore district, which the company announced as its upcoming project.
Meanwhile, Bujjamma also got some other people to invest in the plots and received commission. Now all of them fear losing their money as the Vijayawada branch is locked down.
“I paid Rs 9.6 lakh so far, but chairman Devi Rajendran was saying she has nothing to do now,” said another depositor from Vijayawada, K. Krishna Kumari.
K. Anjaneya Prasad, who worked as regional manager when the company introduced in Andhra Pradesh, said the problem started with the High Court order banning registrations in panchayat layouts.
The problem aggravated after founder-chairman V. Papa Rajendran died in December 2015. After the chairman’s death, disputes rose among the board of directors who also happened to be family members, he said.
When contacted, manager (administration) Mr Vignesh Kannan said company representatives would reach Vijayawada along with the company’s advocates and would reply to all queries.
AGCL claimed it was the biggest SEZ-based plot promoter. Around 3,000 depositors paid monthly instalments.
AGCL was registered under companies Act but did not have permission to collect deposits: K. Umamaheswara Rao, Machavaram CI.
Police estimate that nearly Rs. 30 crore deposits were collected from depositors in Andhra Pradesh....