Odisha EOW Busts Rs 1,000 Crore Crypto Ponzi Scam; STA Token Head and Colleague Arrested


The Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of Odisha police has uncovered a pan-India cryptocurrency-based Ponzi scheme, involving money of more than Rs 1000 crore, a police official said on Monday.

Gurtej Sigh Sidhu (40), the head of STA Crypto Token, was arrested from Sri-Ganganagar, Rajasthan, and its Odisha unit head Nirod Das was also arrested. Sidhu is a native of Faridkot, Punjab, and Nirod belongs to Bhadrak district of Odisha.

The EOW team, led by DSP Sasmita Sahoo, was tracking his movement and arrested him. Acting on an intelligence input, the EOW conducted an enquiry and found that STA, through some upline members, was very active in districts like Bhadrak, Balasore, Bhubaneswar, Mayurbhanj, Jajpur, Kendrapada and Keonjhar.

The STA website is hosted from Iceland but its operations are limited to India only. It is headed by David Gez, a young Hungarian national who has visited India multiple times.

The modus operandi of the STA is to lure members with a promise that they will earn $20 to $3000 per day if they join the scheme and add more members under them. Transactions (credit & debit) of more than Rs 30 crore were noticed in the bank account of Nirod Das.

The Ponzi firm conducted several publicity programs at luxurious hotels, with motivational speakers, music, and lunch/dinner to brainwash future members. Last week STA had a grand celebration in a luxurious star hotel in Goa, with over 1,000 up-line members in attendance, including many from Odisha. Film star Govinda was the chief guest of the event and released some videos promoting/endorsing STA.

The EOW estimated that more than Rs 1000 crore was involved (Pan India) in the scam. It has advised investors and celebrities to check the credentials of the company/organization before investing or promoting such schemes.

Related articles

Recent articles