Staff Reporter

ALAPPUZHA: Two persons who had been on bail after their arrest in January on charges of promising loans at cheap rates and swindling several people across the State out of Rs.30 lakh were arrested again by the Alappuzha South police here on Tuesday on similar charges.

The police laid a trap for Maju, 35, and Harris, 34, of Power House Ward here after they received a complaint from a person who had been duped by the gang earlier.

The two had been arrested on January 2 along with their accomplices Nazeer, 39, and Prakashan, 46. The gang had then advertised in newspapers about their firm, Saravana Finance, supposedly operating from Kochi, and gave mobile numbers, asking people interested in getting loans to get in touch with them. The applicants were to pay commissions and other ‘procedural charges' into two bank accounts in Alappuzha. But the loans never materialised. The fraud had been on since 2006 and the gang conned people from places ranging from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod, into paying them a total of Rs.30 lakh.

The gang later got out on bail and Maju and Harris resumed their activities. There was a slight change in the modus operandi this time around, with no bank account numbers given and the applicants being asked to pay commissions and procedural charges directly. They also began advertising in English dailies instead of language newspapers. The police, who got the complaint from a person who saw the gang's advertisement in an English daily in Kozhikode, laid a trap posing as a person wanting a loan and when the duo came to collect the money, they were arrested.

The two will be produced before court on Wednesday, South sub-nspector K.G. Anish said.