Kerala

Chennai moneylender held at Nilackal

Group runs a network of agents to identify potential borrowers with credit worthiness

Aadhimoola Nadarajan, aka Mahesh Kumar, a 35-year-old big shot moneylender from Chennai, had just returned after offering prayers at Sabarimala and was headed to the Kochi airport when he was picked up by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Kochi City police from Nilackal on Thursday evening.

He was driven to the office of P.C. Sajeevan, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Kochi City Administration) and head of the SIT, where his arrest was recorded.

The accused has been to Kerala even before, but not for religious reasons, said the investigation team that had been after him for long based on a petition filed by an automobile dealer Shahul Hameed about eight months ago.

According to the petitioner, he had taken a loan of ₹5 crore from the accused for a period of 20 weeks on an understanding that a reasonable interest would be charged. However, at the end of the loan tenure, the accused allegedly demanded ₹6.85 crore in full settlement, which the petitioner declined to pay bringing the lender’s hoodlums to his doorstep.

Biggest group

“Aadhimoola is by far one of the biggest money lending groups based in Tamil Nadu and our investigation has revealed that they had lent ₹10 crore each to two other parties in Kerala. Whether they had lent it alone or in association with another money lending group remains to be verified,” S. Premkumar, sub inspector and a member of SIT, told The Hindu.

The accused used to transfer part of the money through his account and those of his relatives and the rest through accounts of numerous shell companies he had formed for running the money lending racket, said Mr. Premkumar.

The group runs a network of agents to identify potential borrowers with credit worthiness and who are in need of urgent funds with little documentation and find credit against cheques and promissory notes appealing.

“They mostly lend to big-shots such as educational institutions, hospitals and jewellers and charge exorbitant interest rates ensuring that borrowers are unable to repay so that they can forcibly take away their properties and assets. Many decline to lodge complaints fearing loss of reputation,” said Mr. Premkumar.

The SIT is in the process of ascertaining the properties and assets of the accused even as they expect more people to come forward with complaints.

The accused has been charged with various sections of the Kerala Prohibition of Charging Exorbitant Interest Act and Kerala Money Lending Act. The court remanded him in police custody till December 24.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 6:04:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/chennai-moneylender-held-at-nilackal/article25792774.ece

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