A Tamil film producer was arrested in Virugambakkam on Sunday for allegedly duping a Sri Lankan refugee by promising him to get visa for migrating to Australia for a job.
Tamil Nadu 'Q' branch police arrested Choodamani , 31, after a complaint was filed by Vasantha Kumar, an inmate of a Sri Lankan refugee camp in Ramanathapuram . In his complaint, Kumar alleged that Choodamani had taken money promising to help him migrate to Australia. Kumar recently came to know that Choodamani had helped many people to migrate to Australia after forging documents and alerted police.
A case has been registered against the accused under Sections 420 (cheating) and 506(ii) (criminal intimidation ) of the IPC, police said. Sources said that the 'Q' branch, along with the Chennai city police, located the accused and nabbed him. Eight fake passports and a computer were seized from him, police said. "A probe has been initiated to find if Choodamani was part of a bigger racket," a senior police officer said. Preliminary investigation revealed that Choodamani, a resident of Saligraman in Venkatesa Nagar, took 1 lakh each from many people, promising them jobs abroad.
During interrogations, Choodamani told police that he was a film producer. But due to financial crisis, he borrowed money from private financiers. He took to cheating people following pressure to repay the loans. Police are looking for accomplices of Choodamani who helped him in cheating people. Police are also looking into the pending cases against Choodamani. He has produced a Tamil movie named 'Agoram' . His brother is also involved in cheating people, police said.
Meanwhile the Q branch police on Sunday nabbed a Sri Lankan on charges of cheating another Sri Lankan.Police suspect he is part of a gang that sends people overseas using fake passports.
Police said Choodamani (42), a resident of Venkateshwara Nagar, Saligraman, collected Rs. 1.25 lakh from Vasanth of Ramanathapuram, another Sri Lankan native.
Vasanth wanted to relocate to Australia and had approached Choodamani for help. As he did not possess valid travel documents, Choodamani promised to send him abroad using a fake passport and visa.
Following a tip-off about Choodamani’s activities, a Q Branch CID team tracked him and arrested him at his residence. He was quizzed by the CID and later handed over to the Virugambakkam police and booked on charges including cheating.
The city police will question him further to ascertain if more persons are involved.
Choodamani’s brother Eelam Nehru was arrested last month by the Q branch police on charges of cheating fellow nationals by collecting huge sums and promising to help them find asylum in foreign countries including Australia, France and other parts of Europe. Fake passports and hi-tech communication devices including satellite phones were seized from Nehru, the police said. (Times of India, The Hindu)