A 45-year-old Sri Lankan businessman was arrested along with his wife and minor son after landing at Kodiyakarai illegally. His company has been accused of cheating hundreds of investors with billions of rupees.
The 45-year-old businessman Ahamed Shareem Mohamed Shihab, from Colombo in Sri Lanka, was wanted based on complaints regarding misappropriation of funds and was arrested at Kodiyakarai in Vedaranyam block in Nagapattinam district on Friday night. He had landed at Kodiyakarai along with his wife Fathima Farzana Markar, aged 39, and his ten-year-old son.
“We secured the family near Kodiyakarai bus Stand around midnight. They gave us false aliases when we secured them. When we checked their identities and found they were lying. We learnt later that the family was run after scamming people in Sri Lanka,” Inspector M Selvaraj M from Marine Police Station in Vedaranyam said.
According to police, the Marine Police received information from the fishers that a Sri Lankan family was landing near dense casuarina plantations at the shores of Kodiyakarai on Friday night around 10 pm. They had arrived in a Sri Lankan boat from Jaffna district in Sri Lanka with the help of a smuggling group. The boat had left for Sri Lanka after dropping them. The Marine Police, along with the Law and Order unit, started looking for suspects with unusual appearances on the shores. They found a family of three near Kodiyakarai Bus Stand.
The family was taken into police custody and interrogated.
Ahamed Shareem Mohamed Shihab alias Shiham Shereeb and his wife Fathima Farzana Markar are founding directors of Privelth Global Private Ltd. They had found the company in February 2014. Thousands had allegedly invested in the company which is headquartered in Colombo and has branches in Sammanthurai, Kalmunai, Eravur, Pottuvil and Nintavurin the Eastern Province in Sri Lanka, according to Sri Lankan news reports.
His company Privelth Global Private Ltd was caught in a major controversy in recent months after the investors started to complain that they are not getting any profits. The alleged scam triggered protests and hunger strikes. The scammed amount is said to be about Rs 1200 crores in Sri Lankan currency (Rs 482 crores in Indian currency). The scam was addressed in Sri Lankan Parliament in October after the victims started to request relief from the Sri Lankan government.
The Marine Police handed the family to the Law and Order Police on Saturday at 4.00 pm after completing the initial investigation. “The family had themselves smuggled through a network of smugglers. We have booked Ahamed Shareem Mohamed Shihab, Fathima Farzana Markar and their son under Section 12 of Passport Act 1967 for illegal landing. We will produce them before a magistrate,” Inspector S Ravichandran from Vedaranyam Police Station said. The Police said that the couple would be lodged in Central Prison in Puzhal in Chennai and the boy could be sent to a juvenile home.
(The New Indian Express)