According to authorities, the scam involved Solar Techno Alliance (STA-Token), which had an online presence in multiple countries. The company allegedly operated an illicit online ponzi scheme by posing as a crypto investment venture.As a result, it collected an unauthorized deposit to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore from over 2 lakh individuals across India.
Bollywood star Govinda, who had reportedly endorsed the company’s operations in promotional videos, will be questioned by EOW officials to gather additional information.
As reported by TOI, the EOW Inspector General J. N. Pankaj stated, “We will soon send a team to Mumbai to question film star Govinda who had attended STA’s grand function in Goa in July and promoted the company in some videos.”
The fraudulent company managed to collect Rs 30 crore from 10,000 people in Bhadrak, Keonjhar, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, and Bhubaneswar, and also attracted deposits from investors in various states including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, Jharkhand, Assam, and Madhya Pradesh. The company attracted individuals to invest and recruit other investors under their network chain, promising incentives based on the number of recruits.
He clarified that at this stage, Govinda is ‘neither a suspect nor an accused’. His specific role in the case will be determined only after a thorough investigation. If it is established that his involvement was limited to only celebrity endorsement, he may be classified as a witness in the case.
In earlier developments, the EOW had arrested Gurtej Singh Sidhu and Nirod Das, the heads of the company in India and Odisha, respectively, on August 7. Additionally, investment adviser Ratnakar Palai from Bhubaneswar was arrested on August 16 due to his connection with Sidhu. Lookout circulars have been issued against the company’s chief, David Gez, a Hungarian national, and three other Indian executives from Rajasthan, namely Krishna Kumar, Anil Kumar, and Bhoora Ram, due to their alleged involvement in the scam.
The investigation into this elaborate online ponzi scheme has lead to the arrest of Gurtej Singh Sidhu and Nirod Das, the heads of the company in India and Odisha, respectively. Additionally, investment adviser Ratnakar Palai from Bhubaneswar was arrested on August 16 due to his connection with Sidhu. Lookout notices have also been issued against the company’s chief, David Gez, a Hungarian national, and three other Indian executives from Rajasthanfor their alleged involvement in the scam.