Kerala

Highrich Fraud Exposed: Rs 3141 Crore Scam Unveiled, CM Reveals Multistate Deception

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Discloses Extent of Fraud, No International Transactions Found, CBI Decision Pending

Thrissur: Kerala’s state government has unearthed a staggering Rs 3141 crore investment in the Highrich fraud case, as Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan disclosed during an Assembly session. The alleged fraud involves violations of laws about prize cheats and a money circulation scheme. As investigations intensify, the Highrich saga unfolds with complex financial transactions and inter-state implications.

Investigation Findings

The Chief Minister revealed that the accused in the Highrich case had accepted deposits totalling Rs 3141,33,91,800 from the public. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued a lookout notice for KD Prathapan, the Managing Director of Highrich Company, and Sreena, his wife and CEO. The investigation conducted by the Thrissur Cherp Police Station has identified significant financial irregularities, leading to the attachment of the organization’s assets.

Complexities Unveiled

The intricate monetary transactions, including the revelation of inter-state financial activities, underline the Highrich case’s depth. While ED has confirmed allegations of substantial fraud amounting to Rs 1,157 crore from investors, there is no evidence of international transactions. ED officials assert that this case represents one of the biggest frauds in the state, prompting further scrutiny.

Legal Landscape

Despite the severity of the allegations, the government has not decided to transfer the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Meanwhile, the ED has registered 19 cases against Pratap, the prime accused, with investigations pointing to previous financial irregularities related to his involvement in another money chain company called Greenco Securities.

Highrich’s Troubled Past

Highrich has a past of legal issues; charges against Pratapan’s former company, Greenco Securities, have already been filed. The corporation has been the target of numerous lawsuits alleging financial malfeasance and fraud going back to 2011. The ongoing legal disputes point to a multi-year pattern of financial misconduct.

Digital Dimensions

Highrich’s modus operandi involved the issuance of digital coupons and the establishment of its own OTT platform, HR OTT. The accused allegedly engaged in fraudulent activities through online shopping, exploiting unsuspecting investors to 1693 crores. The company accepted deposits through cryptocurrencies and distributed tokens called HR Coin, promising their utilization through exchanges.

Legal Defense

Surprisingly, the accused company owners have approached the High Court seeking to quash the Highrich fraud case. Pratapan and Sreena contend that Highrich Online Shopee operated as an online grocery business, dismissing allegations of investment fraud. The accused argue that advance payments should not be categorized as investments and are challenging the existence of offences under the Bud’s Act.

Assets Frozen

In a significant move, the Enforcement Directorate has frozen assets totalling 212.45 crores belonging to the Thrissur-based High Rich Online Group. It includes bank deposits, fixed deposits, and investments of associated companies. ED’s action follows raids on Highrich Online Group offices and the residences of company directors, shedding light on the financial complexities underlying the alleged fraud.

The Highrich fraud case unravels, exposing a web of financial intricacies and legal challenges. As the investigation gains momentum, the complexities surrounding this case raise critical questions about financial security, regulatory oversight, and the need for robust legal frameworks to prevent such fraudulent activities. The state government’s revelations are significant in addressing the alleged malpractices. Still, the journey towards justice and accountability will likely be protracted.

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma is a seasoned Political Journalist with a deep passion for Indian Politics. With over a decade of experience in the field, he has established himself as a trusted… More »

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