Speak Asia COO Tarak Bajpai arrested in Mumbai
As has been well documented, over the past two months numerous Indian regulatory authorities have been conducting investigations into Speak Asia.
Following the overturning of a restraining order filed by Speak Asia earlier in the week which allowed India’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to again freeze their accounts, news comes in today that Speak Asia’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Tarak Bajpai has been detained.
In what was originally thought to be only detainment for questioning, Speak Asia themselves have confirmed that Bajpai has been arrested by India’s Economic Offenses Wing (EOW) of Mumbai and will be charged.
In a newsletter put out shortly following EOW taking Bajpai into custody, Speak Asia stated;
Despite our best efforts to engage with and offer all possible cooperation with all the authorities concerned including the Reserve Bank of India, EOW of both Mumbai and Delhi and all concerned ministries we continue to be targeted as defaulters.
Our COO Tarak Bajpai along with number of vendors who support us in India have been taken into custody by the EoW Mumbai at Indore and other places across the country.They are all being flown to Mumbai today morning to be charged with certain fictitious claims.
News reports are claiming that three other top Speak Asia executives are also pending arrest but short of what Speak Asia has mentioned above who they are at this stage is unclear. I imagine however that figurehead Indian CEO of Speak Asia, Manoj Kumar is definitely a strong candidate of the three.
Hilariously, Speak Asia also then encourage their members to ‘to come together and unite in this hour of crisis‘.
Yeah, good luck with that one guys.
The severity of the EOW taking Bajpai (photo right) into custody cannot be understated. The EOW wouldn’t have taken Bajpai in unless they were planning greater action and from all accounts this appears to be the final stages of Speak Asia, the end game if you will.
A regulatory crackdown which began back in late May with the original freezing of their bank accounts is now entering its final stages and dragging the entire company along with over a million members with it.
Personally, with members having gone unpaid for months and witnessing the increasing desperation and cult like manner Speak Asia adopted to convince members everything was fine, the detainment of Bajpai comes as no surprise.
Speak Asia’s original business plan was always recruitment driven and regardless of whatever they’ve added to it (shopping portals, ewallets etc.), Speak Asia’s big commissions still only payout based on the number of people you recruit to the company.
As for Speak Asia Global CEO Harendar Kaur, with the withdrawal of over $100 million USD last week out of Speak Asia’s India accounts to Singapore (where Kaur is allegedly based), she’s no doubt not likely to come out of hiding anytime soon.
She runs off with a considerable amount of members money and multi-level marketing’s reputation in India is utterly trashed.
Well played Ms Kaur, well played.
Update #1 9:25pm – India Today are quoting Bajpai as stating
I am going for a small investigation. The management of the company is there to support all Speak Asians. All departments have given us a clean chit and this too is a small investigation. I have stay order from high court to deal with unforeseen problems.
Apparently being arrested and hauled off to Mumbai is a ‘small investigation’.
Meanwhile the Economic Times are quoting Superintendent of Police Amarinder Singh on the arrest;
The Mumbai police has arrested the chief operating officer of an online survey company for alleged financial irregularities.
Tarak Bajpai, the Chief Operating Officer (CEO) ofSpeak Asia, an online survey company, was arrested late last night in connection with a forgery case from the Vijay Nagar police station area.
Financial irregularities and fraud? The plot thickens.
Update #2 July 29 2011 – IBN are reporting that three other men were arrested along with Bajpai.
Financial Manager Ravi Khanna, the webportal”s technicians, Rajeev Malhotra and Rais Khan, were (also) arrested in Mumbai.
One more accused, Deepak Sarkar, who first became an investor in the firm and later played a key role in the crime, has been detained and is being brought to Mumbai, said Joint Police Commissioner (Crime) Himanshu Roy.
The four of them (and most likely fifth when he’s put in fronnt of a judge are being held in custody till August 4th.
Meanwhile ‘Chairman of Speak Asia, Haren Kaur, the firm”s India Chief Executive Officer, Manoj Kumar Sharma, and others allegedly involved in the multi-crore scam have been shown as wanted in the case‘.
Good luck catching Kaur guys, she’s most likely cut and run along with her millions long before all this went down.