Kozhikode: The fraudster, who duped several middle-class families, on the pretext of constructing cost-effective houses across Kerala, was nabbed from Valappad in Thrissur.
Ramesh Chandra, 49, had lured his victims with advertising on regional newspapers. Cases are registered against him in Kozhikode, Malappuram, Thrissur and Ernakulam, the police claimed.
Chandra's operations came under the police radar for the first time when two cheating cases were filed at the Nadakkavu police station during 2014-16, said Nadakkavu CI Ashraf T K.
“There is a cheque case filed at Nadakkavu against him for which a warrant was issued as per IPC 420. The other one is an IPC 130 (aiding escape of, rescuing or harbouring such prisoner) case. Two days ago, another case was registered at Elathur police station for cheating Rs 6 lakh in the name of constructing a house. He is remanded and will be brought here for interrogation,” the CI said.
Ramesh shifted his base to Ernakulam and then to Thrissur after the cheating cases blew his cover in Kozhikode. According to Valappad police, who nabbed him, Ramesh has an address in Pavangad, Kozhikode. Though he claims to have a family, more details about his whereabouts are unknown.
“Most of his victims were women, who compelled their husbands to invest in his project. The accused is known for his persuasive communication skills. He promised to build houses at lower rates, if the customer has land. He would flee once the money is successfully transferred to his hands. If the amount is handed over in parts, he would start off construction with the help of local workers to convince the victim,” said an officer on the investigation team.
Some of the workers, engaged by the accused for construction works, have also come out with complaints against him. “Once the floor works are over, he will flee with the amount received,” Valappad police said. Since he changes the mobile number frequently, he could not tracked, they said.