Bikebot scam: ED attaches property worth ₹112 cr
The Enforcement Directorate (ED), Lucknow Zonal Office, has attached movable and immovable assets to the tune of ₹112.36 crore, in the case of Garvit Innovative Promoters Ltd (GIPL) and Sanjay Bhati in the bikebot scam of Gautam Buddh Nagar, a senior ED official said.
The Greater Noida-headquartered ‘bikebot’ taxi service is accused of duping about ₹3,000-4,000 crore from 2.25 lakh investors in multiple states including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana.
The official said ₹107.01 crore comprising immovable property including flats in ‘Saga Habitat’ project of Zenith Township Pvt Ltd, University Land and Buildings of Arni University, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, under construction towers in ‘Amadeus’ Project of Saha Infratech Private Limited and in ‘White House Project’ of Nobel Buildtech and movable properties including FDRs/TDRs worth ₹5.35 crore have been attached provisionally.
Last year, on July 20, the ED had attached movable and immovable properties worth ₹103.73 crore which has been confirmed by the adjudicating authority, Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), New Delhi, vide its order in January 2021.
In all, 26 immovable properties and 22 bank accounts in the name of GIPL, Independent TV Ltd, Mars Enviorotech Pvt Ltd, Axle Energy Pvt Ltd, Pantel Mobility Health Pvt Ltd and other associate entities were attached which includes Snow Touch Resort in Manali and commercial space in Grand Venezia Commercial Towers in Greater Noida.
In this way, immovable and movable properties worth ₹216.09 crore have been attached by the ED till date and further investigation to unearth the remaining proceeds of crime is in progress. Another attachment of more than ₹60 crore is to be issued shortly.
Investigation in the bikebot scam was taken up on June 29, 2019 on the basis of various FIRs registered at Dadri police station in Gautam Budh Nagar against the company and its promoter Sanjay Bhati and others.
GIPL and its promoter Sanjay Bhati, along with others, had floated a highly lucrative investment plans in the guise of a bike taxi service by the name of bikebot, wherein a customer could invest in 1, 3, 5 or 7 bikes which would be maintained and operated by the company and the investor would be paid monthly rent, EMI and bonuses (in case of investment in multiple bikes) and further incentives on adding additional investors in a binary/MLM structure.
The company also allotted franchisees in various cities but the bike taxi hardly operated in these cities. The plans were floated in August 2017 and the collection of money from investors/customers and repayments to them continued till early 2019.
In November 2018, the company floated similar plans for e-bikes stating that petrol bikes were facing issues regarding registration and operation. The subscription amount for the e-bikes was almost double the investment amount for regular petrol bikes.