Ahmedabad: The detection of crime branch (DCB) landed one of its biggest catches of recent years when it nabbed the Ponzi scamster, Abhay Gandhi, from Ahmedabad airport in the wee hours of Saturday. Gandhi is accused of cheating thousands of people through a Ponzi scam that had allegedly netted him Rs 380 crore.
Police said that they had been able to apprehend Gandhi because of a tip-off that he would be travelling to Ahmedabad from Mumbai on Saturday. However, there was a rumour that Gandhi had actually surrendered to the police but this could not be confirmed from independent sources.
Of the eight people accused in connection with Gandhi’s scam, seven had been arrested earlier. Only Gandhi was still absconding.
Considered by the police as one of the sharpest criminals they had dealt with in recent times, Gandhi had allegedly made Rs 380 crore from fraudulent schemes which had cheated thousands of ordinary people of their hard-earned money.
Sources in the police said that, in a way, Gandhi was the kingpin of all Ponzi scamsters. Some other Ponzi racketeers of the city had also invested money in his fraudulent schemes.
However, Abhay Gandhi, who landed in police custody on Saturday, appeared a defeated man — tired, afraid and, of course, pleading innocence.
Preliminary investigation by the police has revealed that while absconding Gandhi had hidden in different Asian countries, including Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand and Bangkok. However, before leaving India for foreign countries, he had stayed in Chennai for some days, the police said. Talking to a daily, deputy commissioner of police, DCB Himanshu Shukla, said that Gandhi was aware that he could get into serious trouble if caught even before the Ponzi schemes came to light.
“For this reason, he had quietly slipped away to Chennai before the first complaint against him was filed. After that he had gone to Sri Lanka,” Shukla said.