Kurnool: The Atmakur branch of the Vardhaman Multi-State Cooperative Society has defrauded the depositors to the tune of Rs. 2.5 crore and downed its shutters after operating barely for two months.
Though a complaint had been lodged with the Atmakur police on February 3 last, the police took eight months to nab the culprits.
The chairman of the Vardhaman Society, Joshua has been apprehended by Atmakur police while Paul Dinakar and Srilatha, the other accomplices, were at large. Several cases were pending against accused Joshua across AP state.
The complainant and the branch manager of the Vardhaman at Atmakur, Hemalatha, narrated to Deccan Chronicle about how gullible investors were taken for a ride by the directors of the society. She said about 130 depositors put their money in the bank between November and December last year.
Trouble began when the depositors demanded receipts for their deposits. The branch was managed by Venkatesh and Lavan. Both were deputed from the Vijayawada head office while complainant Hemalatha got her job as branch manager at Atmakur by paying a deposit of Rs. 1.50 lakh. Other members of the staff also deposited money and secured jobs, she said.
Hemalatha said the bank floated attractive schemes and offered Bullet bikes as incentives. Before the launch of the Atmakur branch, several people from there used to go to Vijayawada and deposit their money. As the depositors were growing, Joshua thought a gold mine awaited him at Atmakur and started a branch, she said.
However, TDP leaders allege that Hemalatha is the daughter of Nandyal Parliament SC cell district president Grandhivemula Balanna. He is a director in the state civil supplies corporation. During the inauguration of the branch office, Srisailam MLA Silpa Chakrapani was quoted as saying that “Vardhan bank is like Silpa Bank” and assured the prospective depositors of the safety and security of their deposits.
Srisailam MLA Silpa Chakrapani said most of the victims of the deposit fraud wereYSRCP followers and leaders. “I have told our partymen who mobilized deposits to repay the victims from their funds. “Balanna, director of civil supplies corporation, has been suspended from the party till he proves his innocence,” Chakrapani said.
Yemmiganur police said accused Joshua is a habitual fraudster and a few complaints were pending against him. “He is a trickster, always floating one scheme or the other and dabbling in money and falsehoods,” the police said.