Govt hands over Highrich Ponzi fraud case to CBI

Government transfers probe of Highrich Online Shoppe Limited's alleged Rs 1,100 crore Ponzi scheme to CBI, as firm faces accusations of financial fraud and running deceptive investment operations, including cryptocurrency and OTT platform schemes.
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) headquarters in New Delhi.
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) headquarters in New Delhi. (File photo | Express)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : The state government has handed over the probe into the alleged financial fraud carried out by Thrissur-based Highrich Online Shoppe Limited to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The state police chief had recommended the government hand over the case that was being probed by the Crime Branch to the CBI. The promoters of the firm are accused of collecting more than Rs 1,100 crore from investors by running a Ponzi scheme. Deposits were also received for the cryptocurrency and online streaming platform run by the company. The Enforcement Directorate is currently investigating the alleged financial irregularities committed by the firm. The police have registered 19 cases in various stations against the firm.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan earlier said in the assembly that the promoters Sreena Prathapan and Prathapan K D received Rs 3,141 crore as investment.

The company allegedly ran its operations by rolling out digital coupons. The coupons were sold for either Rs 700 or Rs 10,000. By adding more people to the chain, investors received a commission. Money collected was utilised for redistribution to members as an incentive or commission in a typical Ponzi scheme format. The rest was siphoned off as profit by the company and its promoters.

Highrich also collected money under the guise of investment in its OTT platform, HR OTT, by offering high returns.

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