Crime Branch unearths multi-million international racket in Jammu

JAMMU, May 10: The Crime Branch has unearthed a multi-million INR racket and has even arrested two international racketeers engaged in the business of heavenly objects. The heavenly objects in question are “meteorite and fulgurites”. The claim is that these meteorites and fulgurites were procured for studies even by NASA and other space agencies.

The investigating agency has so far recovered Rs 18.5 lakh while one of the Jammu based businessman had paid Rs 8 crore to an Andhra Pradesh trader for procuring and certifying what they called the meteorite or fulgurites.

The accused have been arrested and identified as Vainkatta Krishna Mattugula, a resident of Secunderabad in Andhra Pradesh, Director Meteorite Company and Sandeep Rana R/o Paryot, Doda.

SSP Crime Branch, Jammu, Mubassir Latifi told the media that a Jammu based businessman, Raj Kumar Gupta of Gandhi Nagar had paid Rs 8 crore to Mattugula for purchasing meteorite or fulgurites, which was commonly called in the hilly areas as `tratgola’. The racketeer had claimed that the meteorite was a very precious metal, which falls from the sky during lightning in the hilly areas and was later collected by the local people.

The common pitch for sale was the claim that `tratgola’ was even procured by space agencies like NASA as it had scientific value. The facts were quite contrary as there was no scientific or any other value of so-called `tratgola’.

Raj Kumar Gupta verified that he had been duped by Mattugula of Rs 8 crore on the pretext of procuring for him the `tratgola’. However, Gupta neither got the `tratgola’ nor his money back.

A series of raids were then conducted and the Crime Branch men yesterday arrested Mattugula from Secunderabad in Andhra Pradesh who is being brought to Jammu. Sandeep Rana from Doda, a local contact of Mattugula was arrested with a pistol in possession.

The Crime Branch team, which made the arrests, was headed by Inspector Pervez Sajjad.

Out of Rs 8 crore taken by Mattugula, he had paid Rs 16 lakh to Rana for procuring `tratgola’. Rana had purchased Rs 3 lakh worth pistol from the amount. The Crime Branch was verifying as to why Rana had purchased the pistol.

Mattugula and Rana would now be be subjected to rigorous questioning to ascertain identity of more racketeers involved in befooling businessmen in the name of special heavenly objects with magical properties called meteorite or fulgurites.

The Crime Branch has so far recovered Rs 18.5 lakh.

The Crime branch has frozen bank accounts of some of the accused to track down the money trails and make more arrests.

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