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Noida scam: If he got rich, would we be running shops, asks Anubhav’s granddad

Anubhav Mittal’s father operates a small electrical goods shop, while his grandfather runs a grocery shop selling daily household items.

delhi Updated: Feb 05, 2017 18:04 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times, Pilkhuwa/Ghaziabad
Noida scam,ANubhav Mittal,Noida online scam
Noida scam mastermind Anubhav Mittal’s family hails from Pilkhuwa in Ghaziabad where his father and grandfather run small shops.(Sakib Ali /Hindustan Times)

The narrow lanes of the old Kishanganj Mohalla in Pilkhuwa town of Hapur is abuzz with chatter, as neighbours and acquaintances from a close-knit social circle thronged outside the ancestral home of Anubhav Mittal, the director of Ablaze Info Solution Private Limited, who was arrested by Uttar Pradesh special task force on Thursday on allegations of cheating.

Anubhav Mittal, the suave start-up entrepreneur, allegedly swindled off over ~3,700 crore from around 7 lakh people through his firms — Ablaze Info Solutions Private Limited, 3W Digital Private Limited and his online platform
Rs 3,726 crore was collected by the company from 7 lakh investors. The scheme offered packages ranging from Rs 5,750 to Rs 57,500 for investors to become members who get daily assignments.
Rs 1,000 could be earned by an investor who deposited Rs 57,500. The company sends the investor social media page links to ‘like’. The number of pages depends on the amount invested. For every ‘like’, the investor earned Rs 5.
Those who had joined the scheme around its launch in 2015 have got their investment back and also made a profit. Those who joined the scheme later have only recovered a fraction of the investment. After demonetisation, the company stopped making payments. Investors lodged a police complaint. The company had opened multiple bank accounts to avoid detection.
There were no clients for the company who paid for its services. The owners just kept circulating the investors’ money.

The local market here, reminiscent of those in the walled city of old Delhi, houses two shops run by Anubhav’s father Sunil Mittal and grand father Ved Prakash Mittal, who hails from nearby Dehpa village.

“Anubhav has been living in Noida along with his wife. He got married in December 2015 and has never been involved in any acts of crime. In fact, he has been one of the top students in Class 10 and 12, who braved a road accident and severe injuries, and still sat for examination,” Ved Prakash said.

Mittal’s father operates a small electrical goods shop, while his grandfather runs a grocery shop selling daily household items.

“We came to know from news that my grandson is fond of luxury cars and is even trying to flee the country. All this is false. In fact, if he cheated people and made so much money, would he have left us eke out a living with these small shops here? I believe that he will come out clean,” Ved Prakash said.

Mittal’s grandfather narrates that in 1990s, his family suffered a major dacoity in Dehpa village and they shifted to their old house in Pilkhuwa, where he started the grocery shop and Sunil eventually set up an electrical goods store.

Read: ED, Serious Fraud Investigation Office begins Noida’s online trading case probe

“There was a raid last night (by Income Tax department) at our house and we told them to search everything and even assisted them. They handed over a seizure slip to us and left at around 9.30pm,” he said.

However, the traders and neighbours in the locality seemed to have more information about Anubhav than his grandparents. The neighbours said that Anubhav was about to launch a social media app like Facebook and also an e-wallet system. They revealed that the I-T team found Rs 3.11 lakh-worth jewelry and Rs 2800 in cash in the raid.

“The team also got sealed a bank locker at a nearby branch. There were hardly any substantial items found as they claimed against Anubhav. In fact, we are shocked about the Rs 3,700 crore alleged fraud even though the tax was paid. We feel that he is targeted as his business flourished in short time. The officials are disclosing the total amount involved, but not revealing the amount that was paid to the clients,” said Sushil Goel, a neighbour.

Anubhav’s grandmother said his parents have left to an undisclosed location as they couldn’t face the news surfacing about their son.

“His name is being associated with hosting of lavish parties and they claim he was about to leave the country. In fact, his passport was prepared only one month ago, as he was supposed to visit Australia on account of some event, where 150 people were to jump in sea with the help of parachutes,” said a neighbour, who did not wish to be named.

However, according to STF officials, Anubhav and his two colleagues were booked in two cases at Gautam Budh Nagar, while a third and a fourth were lodged at Ghaziabad and Bulandshahr, respectively.

“We have come to know that some FIRs have also been registered in Hyderabad. A special investigation team is constituted and an investigating officer will take over the probe. We are still analysing the data and documents recovered. A major breakthrough in the case can be expected within a month,” said a senior STF official.

First Published: Feb 04, 2017 22:22 IST