The Odisha Economic Offences Wing (EOW) has announced its intention to interrogate Bollywood actor Govinda as part of an investigation into a massive Rs. 1,000 crore pan-India Online Ponzi Scam. The probe revolves around the activities of Solar Techno Alliance (STA-Token), an entity with a significant online presence across several countries, accused of operating an illegal pyramid scheme masquerading as a cryptocurrency investment venture.
While Govinda's name has come up in connection with the Online Ponzi Scam, authorities have clarified that he is neither a suspect nor an accused in the case. His exact role will be determined during the course of the investigation. Govinda had reportedly endorsed the company's operations in promotional videos and attended an event in Goa in July, organized by STA-Token.
EOW Inspector General J N Pankaj stated, “We will soon send a team to Mumbai to question film star Govinda who had attended STA's grand function in Goa in July and promoted the company in some videos.”
General Pankaj further explained that if their investigation finds Govinda's involvement was limited to endorsing the STAToken brand as part of a business agreement, he may be considered a witness rather than a party to the scam. He said, “If we find that his role was limited to only endorsement of the product (STAToken brand) as per their business agreement, then we will make him a witness in our case.”
The fraudulent scheme managed to collect a staggering Rs. 30 crore from around 10,000 individuals across multiple regions of Odisha, including Bhadrak, Keonjhar, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, and Bhubaneswar. Additionally, reports indicate that the scam reached investors in states such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, Jharkhand, and others.
The EOW has already made several arrests in connection with the case, including the company's country head, Gurtej Singh Sidhu, and its Odisha head, Nirod Das, on August 7. Bhubaneswar-based investment adviser Ratnakar Palai was arrested on August 16 due to his link with Sidhu. A lookout circular has been issued for the company's chief, David Gez, a Hungarian national.
Also Read: Govinda says he has “suffered enough professionally”; speaks about now-deleted tweet on Haryana violence