Odisha EOW To Question Bollywood Actor Govinda In Rs 1K-Cr Crypto Scam
Bhubaneswar: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Odisha Crime Brach is likely to question Bollywood actor Govinda in connection with a Rs 1,000 crore pan-India online Ponzi scam.
The actor had reportedly endorsed Solar Techno Alliance (STA-Token), found guilty of illegally operating a pyramid-structured online Ponzi scheme under the garb of crypto investment, in a few promotional videos. “We will soon send a team to Mumbai to question filmstar Govinda who had attended STA’s grand function in Goa in July and promoted the company in some videos,” EOW inspector general J N Pankaj told TOI.
However, the veteran actor is neither a suspect nor an accused. “If we find that his role was limited to only endorsement of the product (STAToken brand) as per their business agreement, then we will make him a witness in our case,” Pankaj added.
Last month, the EOW blew the lid off the pan-India cryptocurrency scam, involving deposits of more than Rs 1,000 crore from over 2 lakh people across several states, including Odisha. The company had reportedly collected Rs 30 crore from 10,000 people in Bhadrak, Keonjhar, Balasore, Mayurbhanj and Bhubaneswar.
The company’s country and Odisha heads, Gurtej Singh Sidhu and Nirod Das, respectively, were arrested on August 7. Ratnakar Palai, 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), was nabbed on August 16. The Bureau Of Immigration also issued a lookout circular (LOC) against David Gez, 32, a Hungarian national who headed a company, on August 19. The EOW is said to have also learnt about the involvement of second foreigner, a Dutch national, in the scam.
Investors were lured on social media to invest in cryptocurrency and encouraged to enrol more investors under them. The company also offered an incentive to members to build the networks, sources said.