Police have arrested the owners of the Kerala-based finance firm against which over 200 cases have been filed by various depositors and investors alleging fraud of around Rs 2,000 crore, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Saturday.
Police had earlier issued a lookout notice against the board members, including managing partner Thomas Daniel Roy of 'Popular Finance'.
"Police have arrested Thomas Daniel and his wife Prabha, also a partner, from Changanassery.
A team headed by Dy SP K G Simon will probe the case.
South zone IG Harshita Attaluri will oversee the probe," Vijayan told reporters. He also said the assistance of the Interpol will be sought as there are "suspicious transactions related to foreign countries."
The police had yesterday taken into custody the two daughters of the owner-couple from New Delhi Airport from where they were allegedly trying to escape to Australia.
Popular Finance, headquartered in Pathanamthitta district, has been engaged in the business of gold loans since 1965 and has 284 branches spread across five states.
The matter came to light after all the branches of the firm were reportedly shut following uproar by customers who sought to withdraw their deposits from the company which has allegedly gone into losses.
According to police, the company owes around Rs 2,000 crore to at least 1,500 depositors.
Cases have been registered under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code including Sections 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating).
Meanwhile, many depositors and investors today staged a sit-inin front of various offices of the firm seeking towithdraw their deposits.