The Odisha Economic Offences Wing to Question Bollywood Actor Govinda in Connection with Rs 1,000 Crore Online Ponzi Scam Investigation
The Odisha Economic Offences Wing (EOW) announced on Wednesday that they will be questioning Bollywood actor Govinda in relation to a large-scale Rs 1,000 crore pan-India online ponzi scam investigation.
- The scam involved Solar Techno Alliance (STA-Token), a company with an online presence in multiple countries.
- STA-Token allegedly operated an illicit online ponzi scheme by posing as a crypto investment venture.
- The company collected unauthorized deposits amounting to Rs 1,000 crore from over 2 lakh individuals across India.
Bollywood star Govinda, who reportedly endorsed the company’s operations in promotional videos, will be questioned by EOW officials to gather additional information.
Statements from EOW Inspector General
According to the EOW Inspector General J. N. Pankaj, a team will be sent to Mumbai to question Govinda, who attended STA’s grand function in Goa in July and promoted the company in videos.
- The company managed to collect Rs 30 crore from individuals in Bhadrak, Keonjhar, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, and Bhubaneswar.
- Investors from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, Jharkhand, Assam, and Madhya Pradesh also fell victim to the scheme.
- The company attracted individuals to invest and recruit others under their network chain, promising incentives based on the number of recruits.
Govinda is currently neither a suspect nor an accused. His specific role in the case will be determined after a thorough investigation. If it is proven that his involvement was limited to celebrity endorsement, he may be classified as a witness in the case.
Arrests and Lookout Notices
So far, Gurtej Singh Sidhu and Nirod Das, the heads of the company in India and Odisha, respectively, have been arrested. Investment adviser Ratnakar Palai from Bhubaneswar was also arrested due to his connection with Sidhu. Lookout notices have been issued against the company’s chief, David Gez, and three other Indian executives from Rajasthan.