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The Times of India

Bengaluru: Techie cheats 4 of Rs 78 lakh, loses all in online games

BENGALURU: A software engineer, who quit his job to start a biscuit business, and four others from his family have allegedly cheated at least four people of Rs 78 lakh by promising high returns on investments. Manoj Rao, 28, a resident of Nanjambha Agrahara, was arrested on Friday.

Four people approached police with complaints, based on which they’ve booked cases against Rao, his mother, sister and two of their close relatives. Rao and his family members, police said, gained the confidence of the victims and lured them into investing in his business. “Rao said he lost all the money he took from the victims to online games and cricket betting,” police said. The victims are all his relatives and friends.

“After completing his engineering course, he joined a private firm as a software engineer. He used to earn Rs 30,000 from rent (from property) aside from his salary. He quit his job and started the business of supplying biscuits to neighbouring states with his friends,” a police official said.

Nithin N, 30, a resident of Rajarajeshwarinagar, stated in his complaint that Rao’s family convinced him to invest Rs 35 lakh in the business. Basavaraj, 53, of Nanjamba Agrahara lost Rs 10.5 lakh; Kumuda P, 45, of Hanumanthanagar, Rs 21 lakh and Rao’s cousin Naresh Rao, Rs 11.5 lakh.

“I am an artist and my father is a BMTC driver. We had a soft spot for Manoj as his father died a few years back. We gave him our hard-earned money but he took advantage of this and cheated us,” Naresh Rao told TOI.

Police said Rao may have cheated several others too and the value of the money his victims lost could run into crores. A local court has remanded him in police custody.

“He is suspected to have raised funds worth crores of rupees from his relatives and friends which he never returned. He didn’t even pay their share of profits as promised. The victims have tried to settle the dispute and asked him to return their money but in vain,” a police officer said.