Deep in debt, stocks trader ends life

A stocks trader was found hanging at his residence in Ejipura on Saturday afternoon.

The deceased has been identified as Ripon Malhotra, 54, a native of Pune.

A resident of Ashwini Layout in Ejipura, Malhotra was running the stock trading company, Ripon India Pvt Ltd, based out of Domlur, for the last five years.

The death was discovered when his friend, Satish (name changed) visited his apartment on Saturday afternoon. Observing that the front door was locked from the inside, Satish’s suspicions deepened after Malhotra failed to respond to his calls. When he peeped through a window, he saw Malhotra’s body in the hall, hanging by a rope from the ceiling fan.

Satish immediately informed the police who rushed to the spot, broke open the door and retrieved the body.

The body was later moved to Bowring hospital for an autopsy, police said and added that Malhotra’s family, which lives in Pune, is yet to arrive in the City.

A senior police officer told Deccan Herald that Malhotra’s wife, Alphanso, has been informed and is expected to arrive in the City on Sunday.

Ravikanthe Gowda, DCP (Central), said the police have found a suicide letter in which Malhotra claimed complete responsibility for his death. Gowda, however, declined to reveal further details about the contents of the letter.

Police sources said Malhotra had recently suffered massive losses in the stock market. Due to the recent market collapse, Malhotra had lost crores of rupees from both his own and from the investments of his clients . “He was under intense pressure to recover the money,” police said and added that this may have led Malhotra to take his own life.  
C P Prakash, one of his clients, alleged that he had lost Rs 7.5 lakh.

“Malhotra and his associates had promised me that they would return the principal sum with 11.8 per cent interest, within 100 days,” Prakash said, adding that Malhotra’s stocks trading company was really a front for a Ponzi scheme, which had led to several people losing crores.

Unconfirmed sources place the amount embezzled at close to Rs 80 crore. In addition, according to reliable sources, the Cyber and Economic Offence Wing of Pune police had registered a case against Malhotra in 2007 for cheating and running a Ponzi scheme.
The Viveknagar police have registered a case and are investigating.

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