King­pins of ` 1cr Ponzi scam held

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City - Arvind.Chauhan @times­group.com Som­reet.Bhat­tacharya @times­group.com

Agra: Af­ter two years on the run, two of the main ac­cused in an in­ter­net Ponzi scam, which was busted in Ghazi­abad in 2017 and is be­lieved to have cheated over nearly 1.5 lakh in­vestors, many of them in NCR, were ar­rested by Agra po­lice on Satur­day.

An FIR was lodged at Sikan­dra po­lice sta­tion here against the di­rec­tor and as­so­ciates of a Ghazi­abad-based IT firm in 2017. Varun Ku­mar, a res­i­dent of Ghazi­abad’s Cross­ings Repub­lik, and his as­so­ci­ate Amit Sax­ena, a res­i­dent of Omaxe For­est Spa in Noida, were picked up from Gur­gaon and Lucknow, re­spec­tively. The duo is orig­i­nally from UP’s Bi­jnor district.

Ac­cord­ing to po­lice, in order to dodge ar­rest, Sax­ena reg­u­larly changed his location while Gupta main­tained a low pro­file. In 2016, Varun Ku­mar alias Varun Gupta along with Aman Sharma — a res­i­dent of Bi­jnor — floated an IT firm named Pay­way IT So­lu­tions Pri­vate Ltd in con­sul­ta­tion with Sax­ena. The com­pany was based in Pa­cific Busi­ness Park, Sahibabad. Co-founder Sharma and an­other ac­cused, Sax­ena’s wife Juhi, are still on the run.

Po­lice sources claimed that around 1.5 lakh in­vestors of UP, Haryana, Delhi, Ch­hat­tis­garh, Mad­hya Pradesh, Ra­jasthan, Ut­tarak­hand and Pun­jab were duped in less than six months of an es­ti­mated Rs 1,000 crore.

SSP, Agra, Babloo Ku­mar told TOI, “The mat­ter came to light in Agra, af­ter a lo­cal res­i­dent, Yash­pal, lodged an FIR at Sikan­dra against the di­rec­tor and other as­so­ciates of the IT firm. Yash­pal had in­vested Rs 13.8 lakh that in­cluded money of his 14 fam­ily mem­bers.”

➤ 2 in­ter­con­nected tow­ers with 18 floors each to house all key of­fices of Delhi Po­lice New Delhi: Po­lice com­mis­sioner Amulya Pat­naik has formed a spe­cial team of 21 of­fi­cers to en­sure the com­ple­tion of the new po­lice head­quar­ters near the Par­lia­ment Street within a month. The team is be­ing led by a spe­cial com­mis­sioner. A source said that the build­ing is likely to be in­au­gu­rated on Oc­to­ber 30.

How­ever, a ground real­ity check by TOIre­vealed that the work may take an­other five-six months for com­ple­tion. While ex­te­ri­ors of the build­ing are al­most ready, the in­te­rior con­struc­tion work is still in process. Work on lay­ing of the court­yard with cob­bled stone and fit­ting win­dow glasses is also in progress.

Apo­lice team is, mean­while, mon­i­tor­ing the day-to-day

ac­tiv­i­ties of the con­tract work­ers. The 18-storey com­plex, which will come up at Jai Singh Marg, will have state-of the-art fa­cil­i­ties, in­clud­ing mod­ern com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems and se­cu­rity ap­pa­ra­tus. It will also house units like vig­i­lance, crime records and PCR, apart from other spe­cial units un­der the same roof.

Pat­naik has been de­vot­ing a lot of time on the new build­ing for the past one year. He wants to in­au­gu­rate it be­fore his re­tire­ment, said the source.

The pro­ject was ini­tially sched­uled to be com­pleted in 2015, but was de­layed due to lack of clear­ances from the green bod­ies and the other agen­cies con­cerned.

The then home min­is­ter Sushil Ku­mar Shinde had even skipped the foun­da­tion stone-lay­ing cer­e­mony on July 26, 2013, cit­ing in­ad­e­quacy in

the doc­u­men­ta­tion for the pro­ject. As Shinde did not turn up, the foun­da­tion stone-lay­ing event was con­verted into a 'bhoomi pu­jan event’. The con­tract for the pro­ject was fi­nally awarded to a Mum­baibased con­struc­tion firm in 2016. The con­struc­tion work be­gan af­ter an old gov­ern­ment build­ing sit­u­ated at the same site was de­mol­ished.

Af­ter Pat­naik took charge in 2017, a sep­a­rate unit un­der a spe­cial com­mis­sioner was formed to look af­ter the hous­ing projects. Ac­cord­ing to the Delhi Po­lice annual re­view, 80% of the work has been com­pleted at the new head­quar­ters build­ing.

The new build­ing is be­ing built at a cost of Rs 1,095 crore un­der the public-pri­vate part­ner­ship (PPP) model. It is be­ing con­structed on an 8.02 acres plot with a park­ing area for more than 200 cars.

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