Newton and his auditor Raguji were booked on charges of cheating and remanded in judicial custody, said an official. Investigation revealed that the main accused in the iridium fraud was one Mathews from Bengaluru. It was Mathews who asked Newton to find customers for iridium and Newton in turn got in touch with Sathish Kumar, one of kidnappers.
“After Mathews staged a demo of temple kalasams with iridium ‘pulling rice grains’, Sathish Kumar collected money from the others and gave Newton about Rs 35 lakh,” said the police. But the buyers soon realised that they were cheated.
On the day of the kidnap, Mathews too had reached the spot for compromise talks. When the efforts failed, he managed to escape before the they kidnapped Newton and Raguji. Virugambakkam police have now launched a hunt for Mathews.
Meanwhile, 2.5 sovereigns were recovered from the kidnap gang which they bought from a jewellery showroom in Tiruttani using Newton’s debit card as they did not get the ransom they demanded.