FIVE YEARS after the first complaint was filed against firms behind the multi-level marketing scheme Speak Asia, one of its directors was arrested by the EOW. Renu Sharma, wife of Speak Asia CEO Manojkumar Sharma, was produced before the sessions court Thursday. Sharma’s lawyers told the court her husband died in Singapore in 2014.
The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) claimed that Sharma was one of the directors and also a signatory authority in the company. Special public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat argued that Sharma had been involved in the transfer of over Rs 710 crore to Singapore. “She is one of the main accused in the case. The EOW had been looking for for her but she was not traceable at any of the available addresses,” argued Gharat.
He told the court that Sharma had been declared a proclaimed offender and the process of attaching her property had also started. The EOW claims that the firm had duped more than 20 lakh investors to the tune of over Rs 2,276 crore by making them members at a fee of Rs 11,000 and were assured commission on new members and on filling survey forms. Gharat told court that the investors were told they would be given subscription to an international magazine which was actually printed in Dadar.
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Ahmed Abdi, representing Sharma, told the court that her passport was with the EOW and that she was not absconding. Abdi told court that she had written to the EOW this year stating she was ready to cooperate with them. “She is a teacher by profession and the only thing that the police have against her is that she happens to be the wife of Manojkumar Sharma. There is no need for custodial interrogation since all the software data is with the police,” argued Abdi.
The EOW said Sharma was the 32nd arrest in the case. She was a director in three firms which were the franchise for Speak Asia, an official said. The court sent her to police custody till October 13. Chargesheet has been filed against the accused who are out on bail.