speak-asia-online-logoI’ve always been suspicious about the Speak Asia Marketing “official’ Blogspot blog. I mean, here is a company engaging supposedly ‘the best lawyers in India‘ to defend them, and with over a hundred million netted from Indians over the scam, they need to rely on a free blogspot blog (that anyone can set up) to put out updates?

To date, the only suggestion that it’s not an outright fraud was when AISPA Secretary Ashok Bahirwani stated that it was official a few months ago.

Not having any reason to believe the website was a fraud, we took Bahirwani at his word.

Yesterday, after almost a month of silence a press release was once again put out over at the Speak Asia Marketing blog (speakasiaonlinemarketing.blogspot.com).

A quick analysis of the latest press release severely draws into question the authenticity of an update – and further analysis all but squashes the possibility that Speak Asia themselves are putting out these press releases.

At least not in any official capacity.

First and foremost is the fact that no company management of Speak Asia have gone on the record to recommend the site explicitly to anyone. AISPA Secretary Ashok Bahirwani swears by the site but nobody from Speak Asia, specifically CEOs Harendar Kaur, Manoj Kumar or COO Tarak Bajpai, have ever mentioned the site

This despite the fact that the former two’s signatures have appeared on some of the press releases uploaded.

The latest December 4th press release raises eyebrows due to the content itself. First and foremost are the noticeable typos of ‘Mr. Melvin Cresto’ (which should be Melvin Crasto) and the second, the mention of ‘Justice P.N Lahoti’ (R.C. Lahoti).

Secondly Speak Asia then apparently fail to recognise the difference between civil and criminal action, mentioning that the

arrest of Mr. Melvin Cresto, President of the AISPA and also  the arrest of Mr. Ashish Dandekar, Regional Manager of our company… are highly deplorable as they come in the back drop of the mediation process already set in motion.

Both of these arrests have nothing to do with the civil action initiated Supreme Court mediation process (the Lahoti Commitee). Crasto and Dandekar were arrested by the EOW in connection with the criminal investigation the EOW are currently undertaking into Speak Asia.

The two have nothing to do with eachother and are not related.

One is the arrest of Speak Asia officials in connection with alleged criminal and/or suspicious activity, and the other is a civil action initiated mediation process between panelists demanding their money back and Speak Asia.

Now from anyone else, both of these errors could be construed as simple mistakes – but from Speak Asia themselves?

It’s been well circulated that allegedly the lawyers of Speak Asia are advising all parties involved on what they can or can’t publish about the next upcoming Lahoti Committee hearing.

Given that this press release mentions the Committee, it then stands to reason that Speak Asia would have naturally had their lawyers go over the press release before it was published. And what, the best lawyers in India failed to pick up on the spelling mistakes of Justice Lahoti and Melvin Crasto and failed to make a simple distinction between the civil action and criminal investigation into the company?

Highly suspect I’m sure you’d agree and certainly worth demanding an explanation over.

Unless of course the press releases have just been doctored by some senior panelist… or possibly AISPA themselves.

Error level analysis works on the basis of

if you have a jpeg photo at 90% quality, and resave it, again at 90% quality, you will end up with an image at 90% of 90% (so, 81% quality).

If now, you were to copy and paste an element from a different photo into your current photo, you can end up with sections of the image at differing quality levels.

This happens because some parts have been resaved three times, whilst some parts may have only been saved once.

Using this method we can analyse the Speak Asia press releases as they are uploaded as images, rather than documents. In analysing the press releases, had they have been signed at the time of their publication and uploaded, one would imagine that the entire image would have been saved the same number of times and the resulting error level analysis would show an image with a universal quality level.

Not so.

Here is how the latest 4th December press release looks under error level analysis:

As you can see, the text body of the release along with the Speak Asia logo, signature and company footer, have been copied onto the white background as separate blocks and then saved as an image.

Of particular note is the signature itself. With Speak Asia’s management in hiding, as of late Speak Asia’s press releases have simply been signed with ‘SpeakAsia Online Marketing Team’.

Interestingly, the December 4th signature has been copied and pasted a total of

Here’s how it looked on yesterday’s December 4th press release:

How it appeared on November 10th:

And again on October 6th:

As you can see, the original (in color) appears to have been first used on October 6th and then reproduced  for the November and December updates.

Other ‘official’ signatures appear to have been digitally recycled on Speak Asia’s press releases too.

In including a signature on the press releases, the author is obviously attempting to convey the message that these releases have been signed off on as they were printed. This implying that they are ‘officially’ approved for authorised distribution and count as an official statement by the company.

Now if they’re being recycled and simply copy and pasted, this is clearly not the case.

Furthermore, who exactly is then doctoring up these press releases and releasing them – and are they doing so at the behest of Speak Asia or of their own accord.

Either as an individual or group of person(s), nobody seems to even know who ‘SpeakAsia Online Marketing’ is, nor how they appear to be recycling the signature of Manoj Sharma Kumar or on what authority.

Obviously if Manoj Kumar himself was signing off on these press releases, why wouldn’t he just use his name (as has been done in the past). It is also noted that despite looking like ‘Sharma’, the Dec 4th signature looks nothing like the signature that has been credited to Manoj Kumar in the past (example, 19th Septemper update).

Given the major inaccuracies of the last press release, I’m pretty confident we can rule out Speak Asia’s legal representation along with company management. Remember that nobody has seen Manoj Kumar or Harendar Kaur for over six months now.

So that leaves who?

One possibly lead might be found in the arrest of AISPA President Melvin Crasto. Crasto, who was arrested almost two weeks ago now, was remanded to custody of the EOW for failing to explain a recent $3000 payment by Speak Asia.

Perhaps some sort of contract existed between Crasto and Speak Asia to put out press releases and now with Crasto behind bars, he had to get one of his lackeys to put something out – on the eve before his bail application court appearance no doubt.

A transparent effort to drum up support after it was revealed over the weekend that Speak Asia CEO Manoj Kumar has well and truly abandoned India and with Seven Rings International has moved on to investing in other scams abroad?

Or perhaps it’s yet another outsourcing project. It wouldn’t be the first time Speak Asia outsourced their work, I’m sure the revelation that Speak Asia’s surveys were being doctored up from Wikipedia and other free article directories within Mumbai itself is still fresh in everyone’s mind.

Of course if anyone else has any other theories or explanations I’m all ears.

As it stands we’ve got press releases which are obviously digitally manipulated, have been signed off on using signatures that are at least a few months old and the author of which remains mysteriously anonymous.

If Speak Asia want us to continue to believe they are the ones putting out these press releases in an official capacity, I think at the very least we’re owed an official explanation don’t you think?