EOW arrests member of Ponzi company who duped 130 people of Rs 5 crore

new delhi: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Delhi Police has now arrested one person in connection with Ponzi scheme, under which at least 130 people were duped after being enticed to invest in a company called Great India Expo, which was assuring a stupendous 200 per cent monthly interest on the principal amount. Police have said the 130 complainants had lost around Rs 5 crore to the alleged chit fund company, which ran their business on a multi-level marketing model.

However, officials aware of the probe have said that the company might have roped in many more people by offering extremely lucrative returns and victims could be from across state lines as well.

Police identified the arrested accused as Arun Agnihotri (38), of Sant Nagar. Police said that over 130 complainants (list growing) had lodged their complaint with the EOW, alleging that one Sanjeev Upadhyay and Arun Agnihotri had been running a company called "Great India Expo" and induced them to invest in the company with 200 per cent assured return on a monthly basis.

Joint Commissioner of Police (EOW) OP Mishra said that on the basis of their false representation, a large number of the public fell prey and invested their hard-earned money in the said company between 2017 and September 2019. "When the accused company collected a huge amount from the victims, they deliberately stopped the payment of returns to the victims and shut down their office premises," he said.

As per the Joint CP, the accused persons are friends and were classmates in Delhi's Rajdhani College. Initially, they used to organise small exhibitions in Russia and Uzbekistan with 20-25 stalls and sold Indian decoratives in some stalls and rented out the remaining stalls there. They printed and published a brochure of this company, made flashy websites about their national and international events, awards and international businesses.

"These materials were used to attract investors. The accused organised seminars and launched this Ponzi scheme in luxury hotels in Delhi, sending invites to investors. The return of about 200 per cent was promised to be paid on a monthly basis over a period of 18 months," Mishra said. For this purpose, an ID was generated for every investor through which the investors were offered further cash incentives of five per cent on their introducing certain numbers of more investors in their chain. "The team was able to finally arrest him from Sant Nagar Area after hot pursuit," one official said.

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