Glib talker goes against the grain to strike gold


Man promises big returns from his grains export biz, makes people invest in crores

Police have brought to an end the lavish run of a 28-year-old conman who raked in crores even during the pandemic and blew it all off on his luxurious lifestyle. Police began looking for the conman, based on the complaint from a 44-year-old social worker, and after his arrest found out that many had fallen prey to the smooth talker. He had cheated several people of crores of rupees, by asking them to invest in his company that exported food grains.

The accused, Venkata Tarun Tej, an engineer, was arrested by the Marathahalli police from Goa where he was chilling out when the heat was on.

The complainant, Vijay Bhaskar Reddy, a social worker, who learnt about the scam through other people who had similarly lost money to Tej, filed a complaint with the police last week.

Reddy had given Tej Rs. 2.8 crore in July 2020, after Tej contacted him to invest money in his company that he claimed was doing really well in its business of exporting grains to foreign countries. Reddy, his friends and relatives together had given the accused Rs. 2.8 crore after he promised them a profit of 10 per cent for their investment.

Tej had opened a posh office in Marathahalli and had several employees working for him. He started the fake company in 2019 and convinced many to invest in it ­

–A police officer

Police said that the first complaint against Tej was registered in February and he had gone absconding. “Tej had opened a big posh office in Marathahalli and had several employees working for him. He started the fake company in 2019 and got in touch with many people convincing them to invest in crores. He had a receptionist-cum-secretary who used to guide all the victims and give them appointments to meet him but she did not know about the scam. He led a very luxurious life during the pandemic and spent crores of rupees by visiting casinos,” said a senior officer.

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According to the police, Tej had a knack of convincing people to invest money.

Even during the pandemic, he got crores of rupees as revenue which he did not invest anywhere and continued to spend. Based on the complaint filed by Reddy who had lost Rs. 2 crore, the police started to track him down.

Venkata Tarun Tej

A senior officer said, “All his mobile phones were switched off and he had 15 bank accounts and except one account which had Rs. 17,000, all of them had zero balance. We decided to block 14 and waited until he made any transaction on the last account. He had fled to Goa and was staying there at a five star hotel where he used his card. We immediately sent a team to Goa and caught him from the hotel. On February 25, we made his arrest and took him to 10 days police custody and sent him to judicial custody last week.”

Investigations revealed that he had similarly taken money for several people who have now started to come forward and filed complaints. His bank accounts have shown transactions of over Rs. 10 crore since 2019 most of which he has already spent. “He had purchased 2.1 kg of gold for his escape and had pledged them in banks which we are currently recovering,” said the officer.

Police said that one of his victims, a BA student, who had borrowed money during the pandemic and invested Rs.1 crore attempted suicide after learning about the scam. As Tej has spent all the money, the police trying to recover the gold and other things which had bought by that money.

Further investigation is underway.



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Sagar Biswas

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