Speak Asia fraud: India CEO’s wife, franchisee arrested


Mumbai: The economic offences wing (EOW) probing the Rs 2,276 crore SpeakAsia fraud case has arrested two persons including Renu Sharma, wife of Manoj Sharma, India CEO of SpeakAsia, who is on the run. The other accused, Arun Rai, a franchise and Nagpur resident, was arrested trying to leave the country for Bangkok.

The number of persons arrested has gone up to 32 in the case of the multilevel marketing (MLM) firm. " A red corner notice has been issued against Renu's husband, Manoj Sharma.He had planned, designed and engineered the scam. He fled the country after we registered a case in 2011," said a police officer.However, Renu, 55, claimed her husband died of cancer in Singa pore in 2014. "Sharma, Renu and another arrested accused Rajeev Mehrotra floated Tulsiyat Tech Pvt Ltd.

 They would receive money from investors, keep it in Tulsiyat's bank account and later transfer it to SpeakAsia's Singapore account. Over Rs 701 crore was laundered from India to Singapore," said an EOW officer. Renu, said police, has been arrested since she was one of the directors of Tulsiyat.

"Arun Rai (35) had a SpeakAsia franchise and transferred over Rs 70 crore from his account to SpeakAsia's. We had issued look out circular (LOC) notice against him. On Wednesday , he was to board a flight from Kolkata airport for Bangkok when immigration officials detained him and informed us. We took his custody and produced him before the court on Thursday . The duo has been remanded in police custody till October 13," said a source.

The investors are still hoping to get their money back and some of the accused have assured them to return their money through a website meant for SpeakAsia panelists. The police have frozen 215 bank accounts having more than Rs141crore in them.

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