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Tree plantation scheme unearthed, kingpin held

A 52-year-old man, who allegedly lured people into investing in a teak plantation business promising them high returns, has been arrested
by the EOW of Delhi Police. Ashwani Sud had been operating from swanky office in GK-II for the past 15 years. His clients are mainly residents of upmarket colonies of south Delhi, Jaipur and Kolkata.

According to the police, many people fell for his `Teak Tree Share' scheme under which he sold one unit consisting of two teak trees to the investor for Rs 1250. "He promised investors that one tree, after attaining full growth, could be sold for Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh. While he kept one tree for his company, he gave the rights of the other to the investor,'' said Amulya Patnaik, joint commissioner, (crime). Impressed by the idea, investors bought many units.

"And over a period of time, his company Timber World Resorts & Plantation India Limited had cheated several investors of Rs 22 crore. Of the 21 cases against him, the accused had been arrested in some cases but had subsequently evaded trial and had been declared a proclaimed offender,'' said Patnaik.

The accused, who is the product of a major catering institute in the capital, told the investors that he had bought several acres of land in Amravati in Maharashtra for tree plantation. However, in the process, the company misappropriated the money and defaulted on payments. It was then that the scam was unearthed.

According to Patnaik, the accused had floated his company in 1994 and started functioning from the registered office at M-42 in Greater Kailash-II. However, he kept shifting his base in the NCR. Sud also used to place attractive advertisements in the newspapers. He also roped in his brother Rajesh Sud, the other director of the company in his plan.

Sud is an accused in four cases at Sodola police station in Jaipur and in one case each at Tilak Marg, CR Park and Naraina. Cases are pending against him at special crime branch, CBI and in Kolkata. "We are investigating his role in the medical herb scam worth Rs 100 crore spread across nine districts in West Bengal,'' said a senior police officer.

Source: TOI


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