Man duped over 5,000 investors in bike ponzi scheme, held

A man in his forties was arrested by Sector 58 police and a Noida Economic Offences Wing (NEOW) team Saturday evening from Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand, for allegedly duping over 5,000 investors in a motorcycle sharing aggregator ponzi scheme. The man had a reward of Rs 25,000.

Rajesh Khantwal from Pauri Garhwal, started a company in May 2018, Maple Innovative Promoters, which initiated a scheme—MIP Bikes. The model of the scheme was based on that of the Bike Bot scam, police said.

Investors, who were approached by agents or through online advertisements, were asked to invest Rs 62,100 in exchange for which they would receive 12 instalments of Rs 10,100, doubling their invested money. Besides, they were promised Rs 5,175 for bringing in a motorcycle aggregator and a 15% commission for bringing in more. They had also been promised cars and motorcycles as bonuses.

“Khantwal is one of the two directors of the company. Fifteen other people, most of whom are agents, have also been named in the FIR. So far, we have six registered cases against the suspects. They are being investigated jointly by the Sector 58 police team and the NEOW. The first FIR was registered four months ago,” superintendent of police (city) Vineet Jaiswal said.

According to the police, Khantwal was booked under sections of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy (420, 467, 468 and 120B) of the Indian Penal Code.

The police suspect that the company has duped at least 5,000 investors from Noida, Ghaziabad, Modinagar, Meerut, Lucknow, and Muzaffarnagar.

“We have identified at least two bank accounts associated with the company—one has Rs 11 lakh in it and the other has been emptied. Transactions worth Rs 25-26 crore have been found in the accounts,” Jaiswal said.

“Some of the money has been invested in property in Jewar in the company’s name. According to Khantwal, a 1,500-yard property, worth Rs 3.5 crore, is also registered to his name. We are working on collecting the necessary documents that will later help authorities in attaching these assets,” the SP said.

Meanwhile, investors claimed that the police were not doing a thorough job in investigating the matter.

“We don’t know if and when will we get our money back,” Trilok Singh Khalsa, an investor who came from Aligarh to Noida, said.

“I have heard the grievances of the investors and we are working on nabbing the other suspects as well. For now, no one else has been taken into custody,” Jaiswal said.

First Published:
Jul 29, 2019 10:25 IST

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