A BSP leader who allegedly cheated more than 2 lakh investors through his company surrendered before a local court Friday.
Sanjay Bhati, the alleged owner of Garvit Innovators Promoters Limited (GIPL), was accused of cheating people under the garb of a “multi-level marketing scheme”called ‘BikeBot’, which promised to double people’s investment within a year.
The surrender comes a day after the franchise head of the company, Vijay Pal Kasna, was arrested from Meerut.
“Sanjay Bhati has been sent to 14-day judicial custody and we will seek remand custody. Sanjay and various officials of GIPL had been named in 33 FIRs for alleged fraud. The accused would take Rs 62,100 from people and promise greater returns. As per investigation, it appears that almost 2.25 lakh people invested in it. The Noida Economic Offences Wing is probing the matter while a Special Investigation Team has been set up as well,” said Vaibhav Krishna, SSP Gautam Budh Nagar.
According to police, Sanjay has been booked under the Gangster Act and his properties are in the process of being attached. One of the company’s offices is located in Greater Noida.
The company officials would ask for the money to be invested in a ‘bike taxi’ against which a return was promised every month. The company extensively used social media and other platforms to popularise the scheme and also hired ‘motivators’ to spread it through word of mouth. Glossy pamphlets with figures of bikes were also distributed to people. The investors were also promised a bonus.
The ponzi scheme, which had been operating for the past three years, started falling apart as investors failed to get returns.
The accused have admitted to fraud worth Rs 1,300 crore, officers said. As per police data, fraud worth Rs 80 crore has so far been confirmed. The company allegedly had 7,000 bikes, out of which only 2,000 were registered, police said.
“As per investigation, it has been found that the scheme had spread to Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, apart from Western UP. Efforts are on to trace the other accused,” said SSP Krishna.
The cases have been filed under IPC sections 420 (fraud), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 467 (forgery), 506 (criminal intimidation) among others.