Now, a Rs 50-cr kitty party fraud

Sep 26, 2011, 07:09 IST | Atul Krishan

Family of three arrested for duping thousands of people in the Delhi; complainants unhappy with police probe, demand case be handed over to Economic Offences Wing

Family of three arrested for duping thousands of people in the Delhi; complainants unhappy with police probe, demand case be handed over to Economic Offences Wing

If you thought kitty parties were all about harmless gossip and home-cooked food, think again. Delhi police has arrested three persons - a woman, her husband and their daughter - from Prashant Vihar, in connection with a kitty party fraud estimated to be worth at least fifty crore rupees. Thousands of people have allegedly been duped. Many of them come forward saying that they are unhappy with the investigations of the local police. They have demanded that the matter be handed over to the Economic Offences Wing (EoW) of the Delhi police. However, the local police doesn't agree.

At a loss: Some  of the victims of the fraud committed by Annu and
Shankar Bajaj

Their daughter Neha too has been arrested. Pics/Atul Krishan

Capable enough!
DCP of outer Delhi, BS Jaiswal said that the three accused have been arrested and cops are probing the matter on instructions of senior officials. "If the local police has leads and evidence, why should the case be passed on to EoW?" said Delhi police Spokesperson Rajan Bhagat.

Party to crime: (Right) Annu Bajaj with an acquaintance

Her daughter Neha too is in police custody.Ppics/Atul Krishan

A senior police official said that the accused were identified as Annu Bajaj, her husband Shankar Bajaj and their daughter Neha. The officer said that Annu, the prime accused, was living at Hill Apartment in Prashant Vihar area. She was running a boutique from her flat called Astha Boutique. She used to organise kitty parties through which she duped thousands men and women.

Modus operandi
"Each kitty used to consist of around 200 members. Annu would charge about Rs 1000 from each person. She would hand over a cheque to the lucky draw winner that would bounce. Meanwhile, the accused would flee from the area, selling off their property. Police have received around hundred complaints; many more haven't come forward so far," said a police source.

Two FIRs against Annu, her daughter and husband has been registered at Prashant Vihar police station.
Annu Baja did not spare anyone. She even duped three of her domestic helps. Apart from them she cheated many of her friends and a few relatives. She was running a boutique and had taken clothes on loan from some business partners. She did not repay them a single penny and forced them to play the kitty in which she robbed them of their money.

According to police sources, Annu was running around 25 groups. She also used to give commission to people for bringing in new members. She would organise tambola games each month in which she would use the money collected from the kitty. She also used to organise foreign tours for members to convince them.

Tip of the iceberg!
Sonia Bansal, a resident of Hill Apartment, said that most of the victims are not willing to come out due to one reason or another. She said that they don't have faith in local police and want EoW to intervene. Vijay Sharma, another victim, echoed this sentiment and said that he has been cheated of several lakh rupees and wants EoW to probe the matter.

"Asha Aggarwal, a local resident has been cheated, to the tune of Rs 1 crore by Annu Bajaj.  She duped her domestic helps Mamta, Rama Devi and Kaushal of Rs 50,000 each. About a thousand people have been conned by she and her family," said Uma Sood, one of the victims.

The Concept
>> Members of each kitty contribute a pre-decided amount of money every month for a given period of time.
>> A lucky draw is held every month, and all the money is handed over to the winner. 
>> That person will not eligible for a draw for the remaining period, but will have to keep contributing money every month. 

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