The investigation agency is probing more leads to trace the money sent from India to Singapore and may also arrest more people soon
The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police, which is investigating the multi-crore Speak Asia scam, may soon arrest some more people involved in the case even as the company’s chief executive Manoj Kumar, chairperson Harender Kaur and chief operating officer Tarak Bajpai are still absconding. In addition, according to GoDaddy.com, the domain name ‘speakasiaonline.com’ has been suspended due to invalid Whois information. (See here http://who.godaddy.com/whois.aspx?domain=speakasiaonline.com&prog_id=GoDaddy ).
Meanwhile, police officers have expressed an urgent need to create awareness among the people regarding many such ‘fly-by-night’ companies that promise huge returns.
According to an officer close to the development, several panellists of Speak Asia are still under the impression that the company’s server is seized by EOW and many times they are finding it difficult to convince the agents. “Practically, nobody from India can have a (physical) possession of a server which is located in Singapore. Yet several panellists still think that the Speak Asia scheme collapsed after we seized its servers during our investigations. This is not the case and we think there is a need to educate people about such money-multiplier schemes,” the officer added.
He said, “Huge amounts of money collected by Speak Asia from its panellists residing in India have already been remitted to Singapore. We are tracing the remaining money. People should understand that they are falsely made to understand that the company was operating from India.”
Moneylife has consistently exposed the dubious MLM schemes. It has also covered how many such companies are coming under the scrutiny of the police, especially from states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Sources say that while forensic report of Speak Asia’s seized material such as computers, laptops is awaited; the EOW has gathered evidence against few more people connected with the scam. “There is possibility of more arrest from Mumbai as well as outside,” an official from the agency said.
The EOW is also keeping a strict vigil on several sites that promote and help in communication for several MLM and ponzi schemes. The department is even encouraging its officials to attend seminars organised by MLM and ponzi operators so that they would understand the modus operandi of these schemes.
Agencies across India are investigating the SpeakAsia scam. “We are closely in touch with agencies from other states which have also started their probe against the company. For instance, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Series Fraud cell of Hyderabad police are also closely monitoring the probe.”
Speak Asia duped around 23 lakh investors to the tune of Rs2,000 crore. It promised a weekly income, merely on filling online survey forms. Initially the company paid the money to its panellists but stopped all the payments since May 2011. After complaints were lodged against the company, it came under the scrutiny of the EOW, Mumbai.
Earlier, the investigating agency had arrested Speak Asia’s chief operating officer (COO), Tarak Bajpai, along with few other employees. Currently Manoj Kumar, its CEO and Harendar Kaur, a Singaporean of Indian origin and company’s chairperson are absconding.
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