Noida online trading scam: Accused trio received calls from Dubai, Nigeria for investment, claims STF
A preliminary inquiry into the over Rs 3,700 crore online trading scam by the Uttar Pradesh Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) has thrown up details suggesting that the company was involved in an international fraud.
According to STF's ASP Amit Pathak, the accused – Director Anubhav Mittal, CEO Sridhar and technical head Mahesh Dayal – were in contact with investors from as far as Dubai and Nigeria. Around 6 lakh people have been allegedly cheated by the accused trio who have now been arrested.
“The company was formed in 2010. In 2015, they took to social media urging people to like pages and other thins. In return, they promised to pay Rs 6 per like. This included the Re 1 commission. They even created several fake pages and circulated among people. They also circulated YouTube links and other profiles of users,” he said.
When asked about the involvement of outsiders, he said, “We have not found involvement of outsiders (companies).”
“The STF, ADM Finance Office Noida and concerned departments have received several complaints. Following this, we started studying this online, it took little time but finally we managed to bust it,” he added.
After showing negative growth in 2017, there were chances that the trio would have declared the company bankrupt and dissolved it.
Alarmed by the scale and modus operandi used in this scam, the STF has created a special email id to deal with such complaints. The STF has asked people to direct their complaints via email to - email@example.com
The trio were arrested yesterday by the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force from their Noida-based ‘digital marketing’ company, 3W Digital Private Limited office on Wednesday and seized nearly Rs 500 crore. They are accused of duping more than 6 lakh people of Rs 3,726 crore through an online portal in around 90 days.
In the online trading scam, over six lakh people were duped on the pretext of getting money in lieu of clicking on specific links.
STF detected the fraud by Noida-based Ablaze Info Solutions Private Limited which was operating through online portal http://socialtrade.biz and later changed to http://frenzzup.com, a senior police official said here.
An FIR was lodged at Soorajpur police station in Noida, he said.
The task force has also sealed the bank accounts of the company, based in Sector 63 here, which had a total balance of Rs 500 crore, the STF's ASP Amit Pathak said.
The company used to lure gullible people by asking them to take their package from Rs 5,750 to Rs 57,500 and earn money by liking pages and clicking on the links they send.
"The company offers Rs 5 per like to investors and claims they used to get Rs 6 from the concerned companies for every like. However, the links sent to them were fake," he said.
During the probe, it was found that over 6.5 lakh people had deposited over Rs 3,726 crore in the company's accounts using over nine lakh IDs.
The STF got a clue after investors started alleging that they were not getting the money after which a detailed probe was initiated.
STF said the company's director passed out of a B Tech course in computer science in 2010 and set up a company which earned Rs 3-4 lakh per annum till 2015 after which he floated socialtrade.biz online portal for the fraud.
STF has also informed the Reserve Bank of India, Income Tax department and the Securities and Exchange Board of India for further action in this regard.