The ED on Friday attached assets worth Rs 599 crore in the alleged Rs 3,700 crore ponzi scam perpetrated by a Noida-based firm after promising money in lieu of ‘likes’ on social media to lakhs of gullible investors.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) said it has issued a provisional order against Ablaze Info Solution Private Limited, the firm owned by the alleged kingpin of this case Anubhav Mittal, attaching properties worth Rs 599.28 crore.
The attachments, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), includes “bank balances in 14 accounts totalling Rs 543.81 crore, a fixed deposit of about Rs 52 crore lying with a Hyderabad-based mobile payment gateway company and a Villa in Jaypee Greens, Greater Noida worth Rs 3.6 crore.”
Mittal, the agency said in a statement, had collected “several thousand crore of rupees from the customers of his company by false inducements and later siphoned off the same by means of generating false or bogus bills/invoices with the assistance of various persons who are under scrutiny.”
The Enforcement Directorate’s zonal office in Lucknow had on January 5 registered a criminal case under the PMLA based on an FIR of the Uttar Pradesh Police’s Special Task Force (STF) which had first unearthed the alleged illegal ponzi or multi-level marketing scam.
Describing the modus operandi used by the accused to perpetrate the ponzi scam, the ED had said an analysis of the bank statements of the companies involved reveals a “phenomenal increase” in the number of transactions since March, 2016 and during a period of around one month a “turnover of more than Rs 40 crore was achieved”.
The central probe agency had said the fraudsters allegedly cheated about 6.5 lakh gullible investors of an estimated Rs 3,700 crore, a fraud many more times in value than the infamous Saradha chit fund scam of West Bengal and Assam which is pegged at Rs 2,500 crore.
The UP STF had arrested Mittal and three others in this case till now.