CID to probe Rs 400-crore Harsha scam

The Rs 400-crore scam involving Harsha Entertainment Pvt Ltd in Kalghatgi, Dharwad district, will be probed by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

“It’s a large scam and the CID can do justice to the case,” DG&IGP Rupak Kumar Dutta told DH. The case was transferred to the CID on Thursday.

The company run by three brothers — Harsha Khasnis alias Satyabodha, Sanjeev Khasnis and Shrikant Khasnis — had collected more than Rs 400 crore from the public by promising monthly returns of 7%. They said the money would be invested in the stock market and film production. Agents were hired to collect deposits from the public and were given a commission. The brothers had invested in 10 films, some of which are ready for release, according to a source.

A large number of people, including government employees, from Dharwad, Belagavi, Uttara Kannada, Gadag, Haveri, Vijayapura and Davangere districts invested in the firm. Some of the depositors had taken loans for the purpose.

The Khasnis brothers were small-time moneylenders when they started the business in 2005. The business grew rapidly and they started taking deposits from the public. It went well till the demonetisation of banknotes in November 2016. They called a meeting of investors and sought time for making the payment.

But they wound up the company on April 11 and vanished with investors’ money and documents. The victims later filed a complaint at the Kalghatgi police station.

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