KOCHI: From job frauds to real estate scams, Kochiites are the most prone in the entire state to cheating. As per recent police statistics, cheating and criminal breach of trust cases have topped the crime chart in the city, which is also the highest in the entire state.
Job frauds, visa cheating, admission frauds, chit fund scams, online cheating and real estate fraud are the highest in the commercial capital of the state.
The city police have registered 362 economic offence cases in the first seven months in the current year. This is 100% higher than the total number of regular offences such as thefts, robberies and dacoities.
While 545 cases of economic offence were reported in the city in 2013, the same had increased to 680 in 2014. In the current year till July 31, the city police have received 351 cases of cheating and 11 cases of criminal breach of trust.
According to police, increasing commercial activity in the city is the main reason for many falling prey to such fraudsters. "Being the commercial capital of the state, the flow of money and financial transaction is the highest compared to other places. The value of land is also the highest in Ernakulam. All these together set a convenient atmosphere for fraudsters," said V M Mohammed Rafique, DCP (crime and administration), Kochi city.
In the current year, the police have received more number of job and visa fraud cases. In cases such as nursing scams, the accused have allegedly swindled over Rs 300 crore.
"When compared to theft, offenders in cheating cases swindle huge amounts in a short period. While fraudsters make huge profits, the victims suffer heavy losses. The desire to earn quick money without toil is the main reason behind the increase in cheating cases," added Rafique.
According to Jiji Mon, ACP, district crime records bureau (DCRB), there is a considerable increase in the number of complaints against illegal chit firms that swindle investors. Recently, the city police received over 2,500 complaints against a chit firm which had collected over Rs 30 crore from investors through various chit funds.
City-based advocate Dheerendra Krishnan says that out-of-court settlements were common in economic offences cases as the affected party always try to get back what was lost. "In about 80% of cases, the complainant and the accused settle the dispute out of the court. Courts also quash such cases in the wake of such settlements," he said.
In a recent case, a leading aviation institute was forced to pay back the amount to students for conducting an invalid BA programme.
The institute had charged Rs 2.5 lakh from students for the programme.