Punjab: Ponzi scheme racket unearthed in Ropar; five held with Rs 8.2 lakhs

Chandigarh: The Rupnagar Police on Thursday, unearthed a multi-crore Ponzi scheme investment racket being operated via an online platform, under the name of Espian Global, with the arrest of five persons. Espian Global— a proxy of an online gaming website ESPN GLOBAL, offers weekly four-fold high returns of the money invested besides foreign trips to lure innocent people.

The arrested persons have been identified as Ikshit, a resident of Sirsa in Haryana, Ankit of Bhiwani Haryana, Rakesh Kumar of Zirakpur in SAS Nagar, Gurpreet Singh and Sachinpreet Sindhu, both residents of Mohali in SAS Nagar. The Police have also recovered Rs 8.2 lakhs from their possession.

Director General of Police (DGP) Punjab Dinkar Gupta said that following a complaint from one such investor, who claimed to have invested around Rs 16 lakhs and got nothing in return, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Rupnagar Akhil Chaudhary directed Superintendent of Police (SP Headquarters) Ankur Gupta to immediately register the FIR and start investigations into the case.

During the investigations, DGP Dinkar Gupta said that the Police have managed to trace the bank accounts based in Mumbai, in which cash transfers were made and during scrutiny of statements of these accounts it has been found that the people across India have made investments amounting in crores on this platform.

The DGP also appealed to the people to be aware of such online schemes and don’t invest without proper verification of any scheme and agents dealing with such schemes.

Modus Operandi

SSP Rupnagar Akhil Chaudhary, further briefing about how the company was luring investors, said that the company offers three investment slots including Rs 4.82 lakhs, Rs 7 lakhs and Rs 19.40 lakhs and when anyone invests in one of the slots, Electronic Transaction Purchase (EPT) was generated and indian currency is converted into EPTs and corresponding dollars, based on which weekly returns are promised. One EPT equals to one Dollar.

To lure investors to invest in the company, fraudsters have also organised special Seminars, said SSP Chaudhary adding that it is a hierarchical system in which there are 13 ranks and as one person gets more customers to invest in such schemes, his rank improves in this system.

Meanwhile, the FIR no 76 dated May 14, 2021 has been registered under sections 406 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), sections 4, 5 and 6 of the Prize Chit and Money Circulation (Banning ) Act and section 76 of the Chit Fund Act at Morinda City Police Station.

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