Corruption in India is not limited to just government officials and corporations – it also festers among the ordinary public.
In one of the biggest frauds perpetrated in recent years, a married couple from the city of Nagpur fleeced more than 200,000 people out of about £60 million ($95 million).
Ulhas and Raksha Khaire were arrested in Ratnagiri in Maharashtra after their two-year scam defrauded thousands of their live savings.
Ulhas, 32, and Raksha, 30, facilitated their con by donning disguises and adopting aliases, and held “investor conferences” in hotels across India to lure gullible investors.
According to reports, the couple promised “investors” they would receive 20 percent interest on their “loans” every month for six months – on the seventh month they vowed to return the full investment,
They asked (and often received) initial investments of at least 10,000 Rupees ($182).
While they duly paid the interest, when it came time to pay back the initial payout, the Khaires fled with the money.
The Khaire's formed a company called Stock Guru India (which was never registered proper regulatory authorities) to conduct the fradulent scheme.
Indian media revealed that their victims were spread out across many states — Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Haryana, Sikkim and Maharashtra.
“Their scheme to induce the public at large was quite elaborate - with conferences and the distribution of attractive brochures at five-star hotels all over the country. They had multiple agents across the country who mobilized funds on their behalf,” said Sandeep Goel, joint commissioner of police, to The Hindustan Times.
“Investigations revealed 94 accounts, spread over 20-odd banks, having been opened and being operated by them in at least 13 different names and entities in Delhi and beyond.”
The couple used their ill-gotten gains to acquire a portfolio of property, including homes in Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and a even a villa in the resort of Goa. They also purchaed a fleet of luxury cars.
Palash has worked as a business journalist for 21 years in New York.