Another accused in the Rs. 2,276 crore-Speak Asia scam, who was an accomplice of purported mastermind Ram Sumiran Pal, was arrested by the Delhi Police Crime Branch on Tuesday. The police had earlier arrested the prime accused for duping over 24 lakh investors across the country through a multi-level marketing scheme.
The second accused arrested in the case has been identified as Satish Pal (36). The police booked him for allegedly providing shelter to the mastermind in Malaysia where the latter had taken refuge after the Indian police launched a hunt for him.
“In Malaysia, Pal stayed with Satish for over a month. When Satish learnt that the Mumbai Police might have taken up the matter with the Interpol, he along with his family returned to India. This was done in a bid to avoid arrest in a foreign country,” said a senior police officer.
Fearing a “look out” notice issued against him at all airports, Satish broke his journey at Kathmandu to where he had flown from Malaysia. He then took the land route to enter India to evade detection. “Even after reaching here, he worked as an advisor of Pal and helped him invest his money,” said the officer.
Crime Branch officers said Satish, a resident of Najafgarh, was detained along with Pal on Monday. During interrogation, he initially did not admit to any complicity on his part. His role became clear when the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police confirmed that Satish, too, had played an active role in the scam.
Following his arrest, Satish was on Wednesday produced before a city court that sent him to judicial custody. Both Satish and Pal are presently lodged in Tihar Jail.
The officers said a Mumbai EOW team would come to the Capital on Thursday to take the two accused in their custody for interrogation.
Speak Asia, a company registered in Singapore, was introduced in India in early 2010. It was an online survey marketing company, which sold web subscriptions for Rs.11,000 each and in return, the investors had to fill out survey forms for certain multi-national firms for a promised annual payment of Rs. 52,000. After paying a few initial investors, Speak Asia wrapped up its operations in India around mid-2011.
Since then, several cases have been registered against the promoters of the company in different States. Earlier this year, the Centre had told Rajya Sabha that the firm was one of the 154 companies under probe for floating different Ponzi schemes offering high returns.