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  • Hong Kong NRI, Shyam Chugh was cheated Rs. 1.5 crore by faked Mumbay diamond exporter Anil Samtani

Con man dupes NRI pal of life savings

Mumbay, November 15, 2005
Mid Day
By: Nishant A Bhuse

“He assured me good returns, so I invested my life-savings of Rs 1.5 crore in his enterprise. When I realised I had been conned, he handed me a demand draft of the same amount. Later, I found the draft was forged and the man is now absconding,” says Shyam Chugh (65) a Hong Kong-based NRI.

Chugh was conned by his friend Anil Samtani, a resident of Bandra, who is absconding since a week, after the Khar police station registered a forgery and cheating case against him on October 29.

Business partners

Chugh met Samtani at a social occasion through Lion’s Club in May 2004 and the two became friends. “He was often short of funds, and I always lent him money, but charged him interest. One day, he asked me to partner with him in his diamond export business and claimed I would double my savings,” said Chugh.

The two then jointly launched a company Infidia Ltd in August 2004 and Chugh invested Rs 1.5 crore in it. Samtani allegedly said he had a tie-up with the world’s biggest pearl company, Mikimoto, which also traded in diamonds.

IP addresses from Andheri

Chugh blindly issued cheques to Samtani for purchasing and exporting diamonds.

“It was only when my younger son, who is a software engineer in Hong Kong, arrived in Mumbai in September 2004, that we first realised that we were being conned. My son told me that the Internet Protocol addresses were actually created from Andheri itself,” adds Chugh who then asked Samtani to return his investment.

Cheques bounce

Samtani issued post-dated cheques of Rs 20 lakh each in December 2004, but all the cheques bounced.

Chugh has now lodged a case against Samtani at the Bandra court.
Samtani later attempted to settle the payment in September 2005, by issuing demand drafts of Rs 19.40 lakh from Saraswat Cooperative bank, but they were also forged. Samtani has been absconding since then.

In the second hearing at the Bandra court on November 8, Samtani did not turn up, so the magistrate issued a non-bailable warrant against him.

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NRI Shyam Chugh cheated by (right)Anil Samtani