Hyderabad: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday conducted searches on the promoters of Agri Gold across several locations in Telangana State and Andhra Pradesh.

The accused in the scam reportedly collected more than Rs 6,000 crore from gullible victims making false promises and cheated them.

The simultaneous searches at the offices and residences of the company’s directors and managers in Hyderabad, Vijayawada and Guntur began at dawn and are likely to go on for several hours.

Earlier, Andhra Pradesh CID investigated the Agri Gold scam, on whose findings, the ED registered a case.

The scam, which can be traced to 1995, began when the company entered Vijayawada as a collective investment scheme with Avvas Venkata Rama Rao as the chairman. It is estimated that around 3.2 million people from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have fallen prey.

The problem surfaced in 2014 when ‘customers’ from Vijayawada stormed the office with complaints that cheques had bounced and interest amount was not forthcoming.

Following a furore and myriad complaints from customers, Andhra Pradesh police registered several cases of cheating, fraud and irregularities against Rao and others in January 2015. The case was then transferred to the CID as the magnitude of the scam was massive.

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