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Director Of Mobility App ‘Hello Taxi’ Arrested For Cheating Investors’ INR 250 Cr

Director Of Mobility App ‘Hello Taxi’ Arrested For Cheating Investors’ INR 250 Cr

The company’s four directors are accused of cheating over 900 investors of INR 250 Cr promising them up to 200% returns

According to the complaint, the company also accepted investments without seeking approval from the RBI or SEBI

Over INR 3.27 Cr of cheated money was unearthed and bank accounts were frozen after scrutinising the statements of the accused

Hello Taxi’s run in with law enforcing agencies began in June 2019, when an FIR was filed against its holding company SMP Impex Pvt Ltd for cheating. But after nearly two months of manhunt, the company’s director Daisey Menon was arrested on Tuesday from tony resort in South Goa. Menon has been on the run after a Delhi court named her an offender.

Menon is accused of cheating over 900 investors of INR 250 Cr promising them up to 200% returns, on a monthly basis. Police have also seized Menon’s Volvo car and she was produced before the court. 

Officers of Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW), which arrested Menon said she drew investors after pitching a multi-level marketing (MLM) scheme. “They used to organise event meetings and seminars at five-star hotels. The company employed smart and eloquent persons. The accused woman director also used her hospitality industry background and social status to impress and influence the victims,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (EOW) O P Mishra.  

According to a police complaint lodged in 2019, the woman and four co-directors in the company Saroj Mahapatra, Rajesh Mahto, Sunder Bhati and Harish Bhati duped people after promising higher rates of interest. However, Mahto was arrested on August 23. It initially paid returns to the investors to win their confidence, but later stopped the payments after collecting a huge amount, Mishra said.

In July, senior officials of ‘Hello Taxi’ including ex-CEO Mahapatra had alleged that the promoters of the company had siphoned off investors’ money and they were wrongly made to face the wrath of those who were cheated by the owners.

Alleging large-scale financial fraud, he had said, “Since March onwards, I was absolutely sure that the financial fraud by the promoters was close to INR 1000 Cr and I collected all proofs. I, along with other senior officials, had been trapped.”

According to the complaint, the company accepted bookings from investors, without seeking approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) or Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). 

Over INR 3.27 Cr of cheated money was unearthed and bank accounts were frozen after scrutinising the statements of the accused. 

Police said, the accused frequently changed their offices. Initially, the company’s office was in Ghaziabad and after a couple of months, the office was shifted to Delhi’s Patparganj Industrial Area and later to Sector-16, Rohini. Besides Delhi, cases are also registered against the directors of the accused company at Bijnaur (Uttar Pradesh) and Jhunjunu (Rajasthan).