Plant installed by Biju drew power from State’s grid, say police

The storage batteries of the solar plant installed at the house of a doctor in the city in February this year by Biju Radhakrishnan, a suspect in the solar scam, had “mostly” drawn power from the State’s electricity grid and “rarely” from its photovoltaic cells, according to investigators.

The doctor, whose complaint led to the arrest of Biju’s business associate and actor Shalu Menon on Friday, had apparently not realised the fraud till experts from the Agency for Non-conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT) inspected the “plant” recently at the behest of the police.

The complainant was conned into believing that Biju was the head of the Asia Pacific operations of Swiss Solar, a foreign firm, and that he had taken voluntary retirement from the Indian Police Service and possessed a doctorate in the field of renewable energy harvesting.

To support his claims, Biju bought a rooftop beacon from a store selling standard police items, fitted it on top of his rented car when he visited the doctor’s house to convince him to invest in a “Central government-backed” wind harvesting scheme to come up in Radhapuram in Tamil Nadu. The doctor invested Rs.26 lakh in the “imaginary scheme” at the suspect’s behest, the police told a magistrate court here on Saturday.

A similar method of operation, along with a “forged authorisation letter purportedly written by the Chief Minister,” was used to convince a NRI businessman to invest Rs.76 lakh in his non-existent schemes. He also gave the investor a letter purportedly written by “Greg English, chairman, Global Operations, Swiss Solar,” appointing the NRI as the head of the company’s Gulf operations. He also posed as a member of the Suchindram Temple Trust and had arranged a red-carpet welcome at the temple when he arrived there with his client.