IMPHAL June 24: The state has recently experienced the negative impacts of pyramid scams or networking schemes in which crores have been looted by con artists.
TVI, Unipay2U, Visarev, Mithuna traders have siphoned huge amounts of public money leaving scores bankrupt and many a broken families.
Adding to the spurt of criminal activity, one Ningthoujam Bisheswor (30) , a resident of Heirok part 2 has reportedly duped gullible land owners by promising to install Internet service towers at their residences.
Briefing reporters in the regard, a disgruntled landowner, Nilamani said that through advertisements in the local dailies inviting landowners within greater Imphal area to submit formal documents for ‘My Net’ Internet broadband service providers for setting up towers. He met Bisheswor at his office located at New Checkon in September 2010. He was intimated that he will get rent and other benefits and was asked to pay Rs 55,000 as earnest money. The amount was paid and formal documents were processed.
Later, Nilamani was intimated by Bisheswor that the contract work for building the base of the mobile tower could be done by Nilamani and earn profits. He further demanded another 50,000 Rs for the contract, which was paid also.
As the base construction was underway, Bisheshwor informed Nilamani that as the Internet tower will require two attendants having computer knowledge and first option was given to the family members by the company. Bisheshwor further contended that his office at Checkon conducts computer classes and charges Rs 3500 per month. Nilamani and a family member had gone to attend the classes.
As the base construction for the tower neared completion , some ‘engineers’ had come to Nilamani residence to inspect the quality of the work. They also told him that the size of the iron bars used were not corresponding with the work order and asked him to replace it. Some amount was also taken by the engineers as ‘traveling allowance’.
The base was completed but the supply of material for the tower failed to arrive. As Bisheswor on one pretext or another kept postponing , Nilamani felt apprehensive on the genuineness of the company . He later met other landowners at the Checkon office having similar complaints.
“ I finally realized that I have been taken for a ride by this con man Bishorjit, some contractors have built 3/4 concrete bases from their own pockets, he has taken upto Rs 1 lac from others in the same circumstances as myself. He is presently in hiding”, Nilamani said. Landowners who were duped appealed concerned authorities to award befitting punishment to the con man at the press meet.
It was learnt that nearly a 100 landowners were duped.
Adding to his fraudulent cases, one Asem Ramesh who was hired as an accounted also voiced complaints to the media. He said that after reading an advertisement inviting applications for jobs at Vodaphone, he applied for the post of accountant and received three months training at a private institute. Afterwards, he was asked by Bishorjit to cough up Rs 30,000 as deposit money if he wanted the post.The money was paid and later found out that there was no connection with Vodaphone company. The office at Checkon was run by Bishorjit under the title ‘National Information Service Centre’. He had taken different amounts from another 60 employees.
After some months, the salaries were not paid and some persons had left. He had also refused to return the deposit money . The employees learnt that they also have been duped by him.