Mohammed Faish, chairman of the Showman Group and owner of Sheesha Lounge chain, who was arrested by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) in connection with the South Indian Education Society (SIES) trust fixed deposit scam, is said to have confessed to his crime.
According to EOW officials, Faish returned Rs15 crore out of the total Rs58 crore, when he realised that SIES trust would approach the police and register a case against him.
"Faish availed the cash-credit facility on the SIES trust money at five banks where he had put the amount as fixed deposit. He has returned the money to two banks," said an EOW officer.
EOW believes that the members involved in the fraud would have duped at least a dozen other such trusts similarly. Officials probing the case have requested an official from the Public Health Organisation (PHO), a Delhi-based semi-government organisation, to meet the investigating officer in connection with the case.
"During our investigation, PHO's name figured. Hence, we have written to them to cooperate with us. More trusts could have been duped... we are collecting more data," he added.
The Rs58-crore cash-credit scam came to light when officials of Bank of India (Taloja branch) got in touch with SIES to confirm if the trust had asked for the facility. The bank informed SIES office-bearers that Rs5.52 crore was withdrawn using the facility. It was then that SIES officials checked with other banks and found out that a huge amount of money had been siphoned off using the cash-credit facility.
EOW has already arrested Aneel Pawar and Santosh Ghadge in connection with the case and is looking out for another accused Roy Joseph, who is absconding.