SIMS MD Gupta surrenders to police

Visakhapatnam: After making a mockery of the law and duping the people to the tune of Rs 600 crore, the 40-year-old Kanamarlapudi Surendra Gupta, MD, surrendered before the police on Sunday afternoon. Thousands of his victims stormed the Fourth Town police station demanding his scalp. His victims include farmers, housewives, teachers from the rural areas of Chodavaram, Anakapalle, Narsipatnam, Gajuwaka and the city. Around 50 army personnel who just retired from the service also include in the list.

“Gupta surrendered before the police in the evening and we will investigate the entire case and do justice to the Victims,’’ assistant commissioner of police S Venkata Rao told the victims in the presence of the media.

He told the victims to provide all the details with documentary evidence so that the investigation could be taken up. Rao told the reporters that so far 55 victims came to the Fourth Town police station and lodged complaints. He said they were looking for the directors and managers of various branches who disappeared after the office was shut down.

Gupta is no stranger to the Andhra Pradesh police. He allegedly committed a fraud in Hyderabad in January 2009 duping customers to the tune of Rs 12 crore in his first adventure of multi-level marketing. Then called as Surendra Babu, a native of Guntur district, Gupta established a company Niranthara Amrutha Varshini Marketing Pvt Ltd in 2006 and got it registered with the Registrar of Companies. A case was registered against him under various sections of the IPC and Prize Chits and Money Circulation Act (Banking).

Sources said he spent some time in Chanchalguda jail and then disappeared. None suspected his motives, when he inaugurated his multi-chain market related to land purchases in Visakhapatnam in 2010.

He had roped in none other than Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah for his company’s anniversary and organised various functions in which ministers were present. “He paid us good returns till end of December 2012 but later he started issuing only vouchers giving an assurance that the money would be paid later,’’ said K Padma, who worked as data entry operator in Chodavaram branch of SIMS and had invested Rs 8 lakh.

K V Ramana and K Dharmendra Reddy, retired from Army last year, together invested Rs 24 lakh. Their entire savings seem to have disappeared.

“We are now pennyless and have to live on the monthly pension,’’ both told this correspondent. Many victims lost hope as they presume that the money has been siphoned off to Gupta’s native place in Guntur. There isn’t much evidence. Gupta disbursed the cash in the form of vouchers in which one zero was missing.

Many say more than Gupta, the directors and agents made good money. One of the directors Jagga Rao was a small time tailor in Thatichetlapalem in the city and Srinivas, a taxi driver. “None of them had even primary education but became directors of a company,’’ Padma said.

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