The case of New Delhi-based HBN Dairies and Allied Limited is a case in point. In 2016, it was shut and founders arrested for violating SEBI norms. The firm allegedly cheated its investors to the tune of Rs 1,136 crore.
However, when SEBI directed the auction of its properties to repay the investors last September, many of the victims from Tamil Nadu were denied compensation for failing to lodge official complaint.
“I expected at least 5,000 complaints from Chennai alone, but so far received only around 500 complaints. Some agents send complaints with a list of 50 to 500 victims, but unless complaints are filed individually, getting compensation would be difficult,” said Inspector K Chitra, Economic Offences Wing (EOW)-II, Guindy.
This is not a standalone case of victims remaining reluctant to approach the police; the EOW’s Chennai unit alone has invited victims in several cases including Tycoon Empire International, which had its office in Kottivakkam, and Mailam Chit Fund, Tondiarpet.
Sivakumar, a resident of Tiruvottiyur who lost Rs 5 lakh deposited at Mailam Chit Funds said while he lodged a formal complaint immediately, there are many others who are still not aware of this mandatory procedure.
“Once the number of victims are finalised for compensation, including new victims is a tedious process,” added Inspector Chitra who has been scouting for more such victims. She added that public should make use of the social media and be informed of fellow investors when they join such schemes.