Staff Reporter

Thiruvananthapuram: At least seven persons, including a film and television serial actor, had received money as advance for land from financial fraud suspect R. Sabarinath, the Crime Branch said.

It informed the court last week that the recipients of cash are actor Biju Pappan (Rs.15 lakh), Naushad of Nedumangadu (Rs.50 lakh), Maheswaran Nair of Mannamoola (around Rs. 2.11 crore as advance for seven acres of hill top property at Pidaram in the city), Arun of Varkala (Rs.15 lakh), Ashraf of Kameleswaram (Rs.60 lakh), Radhakrishnan (Rs.50 lakh) and Shameem (Rs.46 lakh). All had given sworn statements to the magistrate that they would deposit the money in the civil court.

Investigators said Sabarinath had built villas, a floating boat house and club houses on the land at Pidaram. The agency has valued Sabarinath's investment at Pidaram at more than Rs.1.50 crore. It will request the government to take over the land to compensate investors he had allegedly swindled.

The prosecution's case is that Sabarinath had defrauded the public of nearly Rs.50 crore by promising them high returns on their investments in the now defunct “Inest and Total 4 U” non-banking finance companies. Sabarinath initially paid dividends, though this was not from the profit made by his companies but from the investments of new depositors. Sabarinath's ‘money chain' collapsed in a year when certain big investors withdrew deposits without sufficient notice.