Noida (UP), Aug 14 (PTI)
The chief executive officer of the Bike Bot taxi service, accused of duping Rs 3,000 to 4,000 crore rupees from 2.25 lakh investors in multiple states, was arrested on Tuesday, police said.
Tarun Sharma, a native of Delhi, was held by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) which was formed to probe the matter after at least 46 FIRs were registered against the Greater Noida-based company earlier this year, the police said.
“Sharma worked as the CEO of Bike Bot. He was appointed to the post in 2018 and had been managing motorcycle and rider recruitment in the fraud firm. He was also in charge of its app services and other executive jobs,” a police spokesperson said.
Sharma, who is around 40 years old, completed MBA from a private college in Pune and has earlier served in the management teams of aviation companies like Air Sahara and Air Charter, among others, the spokesperson said.
With the latest arrest, 12 officials including the boss of Bike Bot company, Sanjay Bhati, have been sent behind bars, while 11 more named in the FIRs remain at large and efforts were on to nab them, the official said.
The Garvit Innovative Promoters Limited (GIPL) company in Greater Noida had come out with the multi-level marketing scheme “Bike Bot” and lured investors with a promise of double returns in one year. They sought Rs 62,100 in investment for a motorcycle taxi and assured monthly returns besides double the investment amount in just one year but failed to deliver on the promise, according to the police.
So far, 18 bank accounts linked to the company have been frozen. These accounts had a transaction of Rs 3,000 to 4,000 crores from various companies and people, the police said. The SIT probing the case has also impounded over two dozen cars, including Range Rovers, Toyota Fortuner, Tata Nexon, Mahindra Scorpio, which were used by the company officials and costing approximately Rs 8.5 crore, it said.
The bike-taxis have been operating in districts like Gautam Buddh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Hapur and Bulandshahr in western Uttar Pradesh, while its network was also active in states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, among others, officials said.
“The company had got nearly 7,000 bikes out of which 2,000 were registered and the remaining unregistered,” they said. The company had used internet, social media, pamphlets, and motivators who would spread word about the scheme and encourage gullible people to invest in it.