Friday, January 10, 2014

SpeakAsia promoter booked in another fraud case

Ram Sumiran Pal

Mateen Hafeez TNN

Mumbai: The city Economic Offences Wing (EOW), probing the over Rs 2,000 crore SpeakAsia cheating case, has booked the firm’s promoter, Ram Sumiran Pal,in a fresh case. Currently in Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail, Pal will be taken into police custody on Friday for his interrogation in another fraud case involving SpeakAsia’s sister concern, Seven RingsInternational. 

    Pal (36) was first arrested by theNewDelhi policeon November 26 last year from Dehradun and handed over to the MumbaiEOW.   Thecity policefirst arrested him in the SpeakAsia case. Later, he was sent to police custody for his alleged role in the fraud case involving Admatrix, another sister concernof SpeakAsia. 

    “This will be the third
time we will arrest Pal in a ponzi scheme fraud case, involving Seven Rings. We will also arrest his elder brother, Ram Niwas Pal, in the fresh case. Ram, too, is currently in Arthur Road jail,” said an EOW officer.

    Police have investigated Pal’s bank accounts. “Sofar,wehave found that he operated 13 bank accounts.More may emerge. Financial
transactions of more than Rs 125croretook placein justseven to eight months from four of his accounts. We are yet to start looking into nine other accounts,” said the officer.
    Theinvestors arestillhoping to get their money back and some of the accused have assuredthem they will return their money through a website meantfor SpeakAsia panelists.As per thescheme,each investor (panelist) would be given two surveys a week to complete on an annual fee of Rs 11,000. If the investor completed all surveys, he/she wouldbeentitledtoRs52,000 a year.Thefirmhadclaimedbig brands had given them contractsfor surveys. 

    Pal is the main planner of the ponzi scheme SpeakAsia, which left over 24 lakh investors poorer by over Rs 2,276 crore. Till date, 18 persons have been arrested in the scam. The police have frozen 215 bank accounts having morethan Rs141crore.
    Whileon the run in thelast two years, Pal had been shuttling between India, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Dubai. “We want to find outwhofinancedhistrips and how he got so much money,” said an officer.Palhastwoflats and two shops in Mira Road, another shop in Andheri, has bought a plotof about40 acres in Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh andwasin the processof buying some properties in Uttaranchal,theofficer added.

The Times of India, January 10, 2014

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