Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD: A Kadapa-based businessman allegedly duped nearly 100 persons of more than Rs. 5 crore by assuring them franchises of mobile phone shops with little investments.

The Punjagutta police on Tuesday registered a cheating case against the accused trader, Venkata Subbaiah, following a complaint lodged by four persons. According to them, Subbaiah had started OMC Mobiles office in Lifestyle building at Begumpet a year ago. He issued advertisements in newspapers in August last stating that he would give mobile phone shop franchisee across the State with little investments. As he assured to provide even furniture and stocks of mobile phones, nearly 100 persons came forward to invest money since eight franchisees were already allotted in the city. Subbahiah allegedly collected Rs. 5 crore from them but could not help them set up the mobile phone shops he had promised.

On Monday night, some of the investors went to his office and insisted on return of their money. Subbaiah assured them that he had taken some mines on lease in Kadapa and would clear the amounts he had collected soon. As the investors gathered at his office in large numbers, Subbaiah called in his associates who damaged the furniture pretending they too were among his victims. In the commotion that followed, Subbaiah managed to escape.