Express News Service
KOCHI: A design and architecture company at Infopark in Kochi is witnessing a battle of ownership as the police have registered a case against three Keralities following a complaint by a US national. The case has been referred to the crime branch as the alleged cheating amounted to around Rs 7 crore.
The contention is over the ownership of the firm registered as DDG BIM Services based at Trans Asia Cyber Park in Infopark. It has been in operation since June 2019. Phil Duong, business manager of DDG Group and a US national, lodged the complaint through a power of attorney given to Gia Mathai Kandathil of Kalamassery at the Infopark police station.
A case has been registered for cheating, dishonest misappropriation of property, criminal breach of trust, cheating by impersonation, copyright violation and trademark violation. Those booked are Shamla Aboobacker, aka Anitha Manoj, 39, of Palachuvadu; Sarath Babu, 32, of Mayyil in Kannur, and Anumol Shaji, 23, an employee of DDG BIM at Infopark. The police have also arraigned DDG BIM Services and DDG BIM Engineering, allegedly started by Anitha and Sarath.
The FIR says that Anitha and Sharath approached Phil to start a company named DDG BIM Services in Infopark. They convinced Phil to make an investment and started DDG BIM Services in 2019. However, after starting the company, they allegedly did not transfer the ownership to Phil. Later, the duo started BBG Engineering Services using the name and trademark of Phil’s company. Anumol Shaji allegedly posed as an employee who had resigned from the company to maintain communication with Phil. The complainant lost money to the tune of $8.96 lakh.
In an email response to TNIE, Phil said he had invested nearly $1 million in Kerala to pay for office construction, furniture, monthly rent, computer purchases, training and salaries. “Through their parallel operations, using my intellectual property and in-house resources, I suspect they have diverted another half a million dollars from my company,” he said, and added that he wrote to the state chief minister and industries minister, but there was no proper response from them.
According to Anitha, they have submitted all documents related to the company to the police. “This company is the result of our hard work. Actually, DDG BIM services was started in June 2019 while Phil started his company in the US in 2020. This is a purposeful attempt to defame us. Phil had given freelance works till 2020. The issues began after he started approaching our employees directly for various works. He has threatened to defame us,” Anitha said.