Companies & Sectors
Nippon Steel, ArcelorMittal to buy ThyssenKrupp's US plant

Japanese Nippon Steel and Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal have reached a basic accord to buy ThyssenKrupp's steel plant in the US for about $2 billion

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal and ArcelorMittal, the world’s two largest steelmakers, are close to buy a plant in the US from Germany’s ThyssenKrupp in a deal worth about $2 billion.


According to a report from Nikkei, Japanese Nippon Steel and Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal have reached a basic accord with ThyssenKrupp on the deal.


Without naming its sources, the newspaper said, the partners are making a joint bid for the plant in Alabama state, which manufactures automotive sheet steel, aiming to more than double their combined production capacity in the US.


Without identifying possible buyers, ThyssenKrupp earlier this month said it was in exclusive negotiations on selling the modern but unprofitable plant which only came online in 2010.


Nippon Steel and ArcelorMittal will split the purchase costs evenly, with specifics to be fleshed out and announced in early December, the Nikkei said.


ArcelorMittal and the Japanese giant already jointly produce steel in Indiana State in the US.


SEBI asks Orient Resorts to refund investor’s money within three months

Orient Resorts had raised more than Rs10 crore from over 50,000 investors through collective investment schemes by promising 100 times return by investing in teak tree saplings

Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has asked Orient Resorts to wind up its operations and refund the money which it had collected from public promising 100 times return by investing in teak tree saplings.


SEBI had received a complaint alleging that Orient Resorts had raised more than Rs10 crore from over 50,000 investors through collective investment schemes (CIS) without obtaining requisite registration from the market regulator.


In an order dated 26th November, SEBI asked Orient Resorts to wind up all such activities and refund the money collected from public investors within three months.


Besides the company, Darshanbhai Arvindbhai Shah (former managing director) and two directors Brahm Dev Amarnath Shukla and Dilpesh V Shah have also been barred from dealing in the securities market for a period of three years.


SEBI, prima facie observed, that Orient Resorts had launched a scheme — Vanashree Teak Bumper Profits Scheme — in 1993. It called for an investment of Rs910 per unit for a period of 18 years from the investors and claimed that the investors would receive Rs91,000 for every Rs910 invested for one unit.


The money collected was pooled towards setting up of a teak plantation.



Chimanlal Vachhani

6 months ago

Please join this group in Whatsapp for this fight :
Vanashree - Anti Scam

Speak Asia mastermind arrested; admits to investing money in realty

Ram Sumarian Pal, one of the three masterminds, confessed to duping people through the Speak Asia scam. He said he used to flee to Malaysia through Kathmandu whenever he felt he was under threat

Exposing the Speak Asia online survey scam further, the Delhi police have arrested Ram Sumiran Pal, one of the three masterminds behind the multi-level marketing (MLM) fraud estimated at Rs2,200 crore. The police are now searching for the other two ‘masterminds,’ his brother Ram Niwas and Manoj Kumar Sharma. Speak Asia is among the 87 companies being probed by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) for allegedly running Ponzi or money circulation schemes.

According to a report in Times of India, during the interrogation, Pal told the police that, he was living with his in-laws in Dehradun since the company shut shop in 2011 and had invested the scam money in real estate. Besides launching construction projects for villas and luxury duplex flats in Dehradun, Pal admitted that he bought office and residential spaces in Mumbai, besides agricultural and commercial land in his hometown Shajahanpur, Uttar Pradesh for a luxury hotel.

Pal further said that, whenever the heat of investigation was on, he used to flee to Malaysia by boarding a flight from Kathmandu after reaching Nepal by road or train. Interestingly this has been the route for many Indian scamsters including Dinesh Dalmia of DSQ Software.

Moneylife was the first to report the Speak Asia fraud in October 2010. The mysterious trail of Speak Asia runs through several companies and the money was being remitted to purchase 'survey software' from a company linked to the shadowy promoters.

According to the Delhi police, Pal and his aides took over or set up multi-level marketing companies registered abroad—Ad-Matrix in Singapore and Seven Rings International in Italy, for instance—are attracting investments due to their global profile. There were some buyouts in Brazil as well. These were later used to launder money. One such company, Speak Asia, in Singapore was introduced in India in 2010 by the brothers with the help of Manoj Kumar Sharma and Haren Kaur. Singapore-based Harendar or Haren Kaur used to appear at Speak Asia events as promoter and chairperson of the MLM operator.

Speak Asia duped around 23 lakh investors to the tune of over Rs2,000 crore. It was promising 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 2010. After complaints were lodged against the company, it came under the scrutiny of EOW, Mumbai.

Subsequently the investigating agency arrested Speak Asia’s chief operating officer (COO), Tarak Bajpayee and along with few other employees. Later, on 30 September 2011, EOW arrested Speak Asia’s financial consultant Sanjeev Dandona and Nayan Khandor, a Mumbai-based web designer responsible for designing e-surveys. It was revealed that the survey, which the company used to send to its panellists were designed in Mumbai itself and not in Singapore as claimed by Speak Asia.

Currently, both Ram Niwas Pal and Manoj Kumar Sharma, the chief executive officer Speak Asia, are absconding. Nothing is known about the whereabouts of Haren Kaur as well.

According to a news report, while it is being investigated in India, Speak Asia is suspected to have resurfaced in Brazil under the new name “Mister Colibri”, which has a business model similar to Speak Asia and also lists Manoj Kumar as its largest investor.

“The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has found that Speak Asia diverted the money to countries like Brazil, Dubai, Italy, Malaysia and Singapore. The ED found a trail of Rs900 crore remitted to Singapore alone,” police have said.

So far, investigation agencies have frozen around 200 bank accounts related with Speak Asia with more than Rs140 crore in them and have identified another 150 suspicious accounts.

The money was reportedly sent from India to banks in Singapore and from there to Dubai, Italy and United Kingdom. Interestingly, the money was routed back from UK to Dubai to India through the launderers called 'master collecting agents'.

You may also want to read…

Another MLM scam in the happening, this time under the pretext of an online survey

The Speak Asia money trail

Supreme Court exposes lies of Speak Asia’s covert management

Speak Asia says cannot send surveys as server is in police custody!

Speak Asia advisor finally confesses the company was running a Ponzi scheme

EOW sends Speak Asia computers, laptops, hard disks and CDs for forensic analysis

PMO asks for investigation and action against Speak Asia

SFIO probing 67 companies for running Ponzi, MLM schemes

Moneylife Foundation sends representation to PM, FM and RBI urging ban on MLM schemes



Yerram Raju Behara

3 years ago

A great exposure indeed. The other and important side of exposure leads us to the inadequacies in due diligence by the lending agencies connected to the realty sector. Information asymmetry and adverse selection are at the root of the 'game advantage' to the fraudsters.


3 years ago

The credit for exposing SpeakAsia fraud goes to Moneylife only.

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