Odisha Court Rejects Bail Plea Of 2 Accused In Rs 1000 Cr Crypto Ponzi Scam

Cuttack: The bail applications of two main accused in the Rs 1,000 crore pan-India crypto Ponzi racket who were arrested by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) have been rejected by a designated court in Odisha’s Cuttack.

The two – Nirod Kumar Das (Odisha Head of STA) and Ratnakar Palai of Bhubaneswar – had been arrested by the EOW in August this year.

Both the accused had put forth their bail petitions before the Court of OPID, Cuttack, which got rejected by the court recently, EOW said in a press release on Monday.

It may be noted here that the principal accused Gurtej Singh Sindhu, country head of STA, is still in judicial custody.

During investigation, it was ascertained that Nirod Das, the Odisha Head of STA, had used his referral link to add 21000 downline members under him and in the process had amassed huge amount of wealth, it said.

On scrutiny of his three accounts, it was ascertained about Rs 31.23 crore and cash deposit of Rs 2.10 crore was transacted in the relevant period. He had also rented a posh office in the bypass square of Bhadrak to run STA and was holding regular meetings in order to induce innocent persons to be his down line member.

Similarly, Ratnakar Pallai is an important and up-line member of STA having huge number of members below him (known as down-line members in the MLM/ Pyramid based schemes/scams). He is very close to Gurtej Singh and Nirod Das.

He is an M.Tech in IT from Karnataka University, Bangalore and claims to be an international speaker, entrepreneur and investment guru. He is also propaganda head/ social media influencer of STA in Odisha. He used to run a YouTube channel for wider publicity of this scheme and is also member of some other such dubious scams too which is under scrutiny. Palai also runs an institute namely ‘Learn to earn”.

However, after the arrest of Gurtej and Nirod, he has deliberately deleted his social media accounts. He had also visited Goa along with Nirod to participate in STA celebration. It was ascertained that he had started an academy by the name Learn 2 Earn in the posh locality of IRC village, Nayapalli, Bhubaneswar to advocate and promote the benefits of investing in STA token. Further during investigation, it came to surface that he had been promoting STA token with other co accused under the Banner Learn 2 Earn. In this regard, he has also spent about Rs 1.42 lakh in an event to promote STA token in a hotel in Bhubaneswar.

Palai has invested more than Rs 60 lakhs of the ill-gotten money in purchasing plots in Bhubaneswar. On scrutiny of his personal accounts maintained in several banks at Talcher and Bhubaneswar, including account in the name of Learn2 Earn, it was ascertained that a total transaction of Rs 1.3 crore has taken place in the above mention accounts in the relevant period.

The accused has also been promoting STA tokens through his You tube channel Learn 2 Earn with Ratnakar Palai. In this regard, an amount of Rs 3.75 lakhs was frozen from five number of Bank accounts of Ratnakar Palai. Investigation of the case is continuing.

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