ED attaches properties worth Rs 5.35 cr in ‘fraud’ bike taxi scheme case

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ED attaches properties worth Rs 5.35 cr in ‘fraud’ bike taxi scheme case

Lucknow: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has provisionally attached one movable and 20 immovable properties worth Rs 5.35 crores belonging to Hello Ride Limited, its directors, presidents, agents and others under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, officials have said.

The officials said the properties attached were in the form of agricultural lands and residential plots and were located in Lucknow, Kanpur and Prayagraj districts.

The ED had initiated the investigation on the basis of multiple FIRs registered by Uttar Pradesh Police in Vibhuti Kand police station, Lucknow under IPC sections 406 for criminal breach of trust, 409 for criminal breach of trust by public servant and 420 for cheating against Abhay Kumar Kushwaha, Neelam Verma, Nikhil Kushwaha, Rajesh Pandey, Shaqeel Ahmad, Ragini Gupta and others.

The officials said the investigation revealed that Abhay Kushwaha along with his associates generated proceeds of crime by committing offences under the provisions of PMLA, 2002.

The company launched a bike taxi scheme under the brand Hello Ride, similar to the services provided by aggregators such as Ola and Uber, as per which the company promised to pay Rs 9,585 per month for 12 months on an initial investment of Rs 61,000 per bike.

On the allurement of such a high return on investment, Hello Ride and its directors and agents collected huge deposits from the general public. As alleged, the total amount involved in 33 FIRs is Rs 10,93,71,000.

They purchased these immovable properties between 2018 and 2019 by utilizing the proceeds of crime. The properties were purchased at an undervalued price on record, but a huge cash component was also involved in the transactions, the officials said.

Previously, 28 immovable properties worth Rs 2.38 crores were provisionally attached and later confirmed by the Adjudicating Authority. The total attachment in this case now stands at Rs 7.73 crores. Further investigation is under progress.

 


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