Central Crime Branch declared victim’s complaint as “civil in nature”

An elderly couple have complained to the police that they fell victim to a massive fraud by a suspected conman and his mother, who allegedly used the names of the Chief Minister and the managing director of a popular Tamil channel, to make them part with Rs. 14 crore in cash, their house in Besant Nagar here and a flat in Gurgaon.

K. Ramaswamy, 71, lodged a complaint with the city police in 2011 and the Central Crime Branch registered a case in 2012. But the case has now been declared by investigators as one in the nature of a civil dispute. The dejected complainant has been asked to appear in Saidapet Court on Friday.

Mr. Ramaswamy, a retired general manager from Smithkline Beecham Consumer Healthcare Ltd and TVS Electronics, spoke to The Hindu with documents and telephone conversation recordings about the case of cheating, narrating a sad tale of how his family was cheated from April 2004. “After retirement, my wife Mythili and I settled in our house in Besant Nagar and started regularly visiting a self-styled godwoman who gave discourses at her residence here. Taking advantage of our faith, she demanded Rs. 3 lakh for the construction of a temple in Kovur, Kancheepuram, which we gave,” Mr. Ramaswamy said. According to the septuagenarian, his ordeal began after the godwoman told him that a media baron had promised to give Rs. 5.5 crore for the temple and started borrowing large sums of money. The godwoman’s son claimed that the media baron had planted a microphone in the set top box at the complainant’s residence and happened to hear his family members badmouthing him and his politically influential family.

“From then on, the son threatened me and my family members and obtained huge sums on many occasions.“He made me and my wife flee Chennai in 2005 and kept us captive in houses and hotels in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Vishakapatnam till 2010.”