The OPID Court in Cuttack has rejected the bail applications of two of the main accused in the Rs 1,000-crore pan-India STA crypto ponzi scam, who were arrested by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Odisha Police.
The duo Nirod Kumar Das (Odisha head of STA) and Ratnakar Palai of Bhubaneswar had been arrested by the EOW in August 2023.
Notably, the kingpin of the racket Gurtej Singh Sindhu, country head of STA, is still in judicial custody.
During investigation, it was ascertained that Niro, had used his referral link to add 21,000 downline members under him and in the process had amassed huge amount of wealth, an EOW release said.
On scrutiny of his three accounts, it was ascertained about Rs 31.23 crore and cash deposit of Rs 2.10 crore was transacted in the relevant period. He had also rented a posh office in the bypass square of Bhadrak to run STA and was holding regular meetings to induce innocent persons to be his down line member.
Similarly, Ratnakar Pallai is an important and up-line member of STA having huge number of members below him (known as down-line members in the MLM/ Pyramid based schemes/scams). He is very close to Gurtej and Nirod.
Pallai is an MTech in IT from Karnataka University, Bangalore and claims to be an international speaker, entrepreneur and investment guru. He is also propaganda head/ social media influencer of STA in Odisha. He used to run a YouTube channel for wider publicity of this scheme and is also member of some other such dubious scams too which is under scrutiny. Palai also runs an institute namely ‘Learn to earn”.
However, after the arrest of Gurtej and Nirod, he has deliberately deleted his social media accounts. He had also visited Goa along with Nirod to participate in STA celebration. It was ascertained that he had started an academy by the name Learn 2 Earn in the posh locality of IRC village, Nayapalli, Bhubaneswar to advocate and promote the benefits of investing in STA token.