In a significant development, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police has taken action by freezing 11 bank accounts and seizing five properties associated with a fraudulent couple involved in a Ponzi scheme. These assets are linked to Bliss Consultants and its proprietor, Ashesh Mehta, along with his spouse. The pursuit of justice in this scam is being led by Krishna Hegde, former MLA and spokesperson of Shiv Sena (Shinde).
The frozen properties, valued at approximately 16 crore rupees, are situated in Kandivili, Goregaon East, and Santa Cruz West in the western suburbs of Mumbai. It has been disclosed that additional properties and bank accounts are currently under scrutiny and may face similar freezes. The collective worth of the assets frozen stands at nearly ₹170 crore, owing to the efforts of the Mumbai Police and ex-MLA Hegde.
Mehta couple gone into hiding
The Mehta couple, the masterminds behind the scam, have gone into hiding after allegedly defrauding over 4,000 investors of more than a 1,000 crore. Hegde commends the prompt response of the Mumbai Police and the EOW in addressing his complaint. He is now urging them to expedite the filing of a petition, which would facilitate the release of the frozen funds for distribution among the affected investors.
Additionally, he advocates for the liquidation of the seized properties, with the proceeds intended to compensate the victims through law enforcement channels. Hegde emphasises the importance of co-operation from associates of the Mehta couple and encourages them to step forward and assist in the ongoing police investigations. He extends his gratitude to Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, and top Mumbai police officials, including Special Commissioner Deven Bharti and Joint Commissioner Nishith Mishra, for their efforts in this case.
What is the scam about?
According to the FIR, the Mehta couple allegedly introduced the DIFM app and encouraged people to invest funds in Bliss Consultants via the app. The couple, who owns Bliss Consultants, a stock broking firm located in Goregaon East specialising in Nifty trading, assured investors of a 2.5 per cent monthly profit. Hegde had alleged that the the couple swindled a significant number of investors, resulting in losses amounting to several crores of rupees.
Hegde's formal complaint led to the freezing of ₹165 crore in assets linked to the Mumbai stock-broking couple, who have since vanished along with a substantial sum of money. Their whereabouts remain unknown.
It's worth noting that Bliss Consultants is not a registered portfolio management services (PMS) or alternative investment fund (AIF) company under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).