A court in Kerala has ordered attachment of the headquarters of Popular Finance, a finance company which provides gold loans and other related services. The owners have reportedly absconded after defaulting on interest payments to its depositors since April.
Following complaints registered by people stating that the company failed to return the invested amount after the specified period, the court ordered the attachment of the company office, as per a Matrubhumi report.
Moreover, bank accounts of Popular Finance's owners Thomas Daniel and wife Prabha have also been frozen to prevent further transactions. Pathanamthitta police has also issued a lookout notice against board members and owners.
As per the company's website, Popular Finance was founded in 1965 and has over 2,000 employees. The popular group has branches spread across five states: Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Haryana.
"A case has been registered against all members of the board of directors, including owner Thomas Daniel. They have been booked under sections 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC," said PS Rajesh, Inspector of Konni police station.
The owners, in a press release, stated that the company has been facing a financial crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, TNM report said, adding that the family is "not absconding but have temporarily kept away due to the pressure from the media and police."
As per several reports, over 1,600 depositors, including NRIs, are yet to receive payments and the company had received over Rs 2,000 crore from investors.