The Uttar Pradesh special task force (STF) has received 5,600 e-mails from victims of the ₹3,726 crore online social trading case. Of these, 90% are complaints and the rest are suggestions for the STF, officials said.
“A total 6.42 lakh persons created 9.42 lakh identities and invested over ₹3,700 crore in Ablaze Info solutions Private Limited’s social platform. Many created more than one identity to earn more. Now, our probe is focused on finding out the amount accumulated from investors and the amount spent by those running the scheme,” Amit Pathak, senior superintendent of police, STF, said.
Sources said that the STF is mulling to take Anubhav Mittal, the prime accused in the online trading scam, on remand. Mittal and his two aides are in judicial custody in Greater Noida’s Luksar jail.
“We grilled him once, during his arrest. He was not cooperative when we asked him questions. But he showed that he has disbursed ₹3,000 crore among his investors. However, we do not believe his statement and we are gathering evidence to prove the exact amount he collected and disbursed,” Pathak said.
STF officials said that the scam can be more than ₹3,700 crore and Mittal could have more than 10 bank accounts.
All the banks linked to Mittal and his businesses are in the net of the probe. “Mittal was depositing and withdrawing large sums of money. Therefore, the banks suddenly knew he had managed to collect a lot of money. We are investigating how banks cooperated with Mittal in helping him evade the law,” another official involved in the probe said.
Officials said that the role of STF is confined to investigating the criminal and cheating elements.
“Financial irregularity is being investigated by Income Tax department, Enforcement directorate and SFIO (Serious Fraud Investigation Office), among other agencies. Our job is to probe criminal offences he commissioned. Also, we are supporting the central agencies in providing documents (evidence) against Mittal,” Pathak said.
Mittal had also invited Bollywood actors Sunny Leone and Amisha Patel to a five-star hotel in Greater Noida on November 29, 2016, to celebrate his birthday and launch a new scheme, officials said.
“Mittal had paid ₹26 lakh to the hotel for the event, which was organised in the lawn of the hotel. He had booked around 30 suites for his guests. We are probing how much he had paid the actors and for other arrangements,” an STF official said.