Man commits suicide as Andhra finance firm shuts down

Hyderabad, Feb 16 (IANS) A man committed suicide Saturday while hundreds of other depositors were left in the lurch after a finance company in Andhra Pradesh shut down, police said.

Worried depositors gathered outside the offices of Secured Investment Making Services (SIMS), which was running money circulation scheme in Visakhapatnam district for the last few years.

The offices were found locked Friday, sending panic among the customers. Unable to bear the shock of losing his money, a man committed suicide early Saturday. Angry depositors at few place ransacked the offices and took away whatever they could lay their hands on, police said.

The 40-year-old man ended his life by allegedly jumping before a train at Anakapalli town. Satti Babu had deposited Rs.4 lakh with the firm. His family members said he had saved the money for the marriage of his two daughters.

Started in 2010, the company had reportedly collected Rs.500 crore from customers at various places in the coastal district.

Some of the victims said the firm promised Rs.8,000 to Rs.10,000 monthly interest on deposit of Rs.1 lakh. It had assured the customers that they can take back their deposits after 40 months. The depositors said the company was delaying the payments for last three months.

The victims took out rallies and lodged complaints with police against directors of the company, police said.

In another incident in East Godavari district, a man who was running a chit fund escaped with Rs.8 crore he had collected from members, police said.

The state witnessed many scams by non-banking financial institutions and chit fund companies in recent years.

According to police, 9,625 economic offences were reported in the state during 2012, an increase of 16 percent over 2011. The money involved in the offences was Rs.1,507 crore last year, against Rs.2,913 crore the previous year.

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