Three members of a Noida-based ‘digital marketing’ company, 3W Digital Private Limited office, were arrested on Thursday for allegedly duping people across the country of Rs 3,726 crore.
The company’s director, Anubhav Mittal, CEO Shridhar Prasad and technician Mahesh Dayal were held by a UP Police’s Special Task Force (STF) after two complaints were registered at Noida’s Surajpur and Phase-3 police stations by two people alleging that the company was not paying them for their investments. While the first complaint was received on January 31 the second one came on February 1.
A team of STF raided the 3W Digital Private Limited office in sector 63 on Wednesday evening. Police said that the firm has allegedly duped 6.30 lakh people to the tune of Rs 3,726 crore since it started its marketing business in 2015. The people were allegedly duped under a scheme named Social Trade.
The raiding team said it has seized Rs 524 crore that was deposited in the company’s accounts with various banks. Police said application data of its 9 lakh gullible customers was also recovered from the spot and all URLs of the company have been clocked for investigation.
Senior superintendent of police (STF), Amit Pathak, confirmed the arrest. He said, “All the three men have been arrested. We are ascertaining the involvement of other people as well. The company has embezzled a lot of money and it will be thoroughly investigated”.
Pathak said that the company had changed its name from time to time. It started as Ablaze Info Solution and allegedly kept changing its method of duping people.
The company rolled out a plan under which people could invest money under different slabs of Rs 5,750, Rs11,500, Rs 28,750 and Rs 57,500. For example, a daily return of Rs 625 was promised on an investment of Rs 57,500.
The investors were entitled to a daily return for one year based on the money deposited. They were promised a return of the principal amount at the end of one year.
The company reached out to people with its scheme through social networking websites and other web portals.
All members of the Social Trade scheme were sent 125 links every day that they were supposed to like to stay invested.
Registered members were promised a commission on bringing more members under the scheme.
“The company used to return money for some days and later it would stop paying promising to pay at a later date,” Pathak said.
Police said that the trio was planning to flee the country.