In a major revelation, Headlines Today has unearthed the shady ownership pattern of Speak Asia. Headlines Today has learnt that despite established knowledge, Speak Asia is not based in Singapore.
The real owner or majority stakeholder is based in British Virgin Island, a known tax haven. The tax haven is used by tax evaders to channelise ill-gotten wealth.
Documents in possession of Headlines Today show while Mrs Harinder Kaur is a representative director of Speak Asia, the real owners or stakeholders have been identified as Podium Ring International Limited, based in Tortola in Virgin Islands.
The secrecy in the ownership of Speak Asia conforms to a typical offshore structure where multi-layered waterfall structure is created to hide the actual owner. So that brings us to the all important question, who owns Speak Asia which has investment worth millions from Indians. The documents in Headlines Today's possession show Wong Chuen Shya as secretary. This can prove to be a challenge for Indian agencies as information from British Virgin Island can be obtained only through a letter rogatory.
The noose is tightening around Speak Asia after Headlines Today uncovered irregularities in the functioning of the market research website.
After the Headlines Today investigation, authorities in Uttar Pradesh raided two franchisees of Speak Asia.
The raids were conducted after allegations of service tax violations against these franchisees.
The raids were confirmed to Headlines Today by the office of Commissioner for Excise and Service Tax in Lucknow.
Authorities also concede that the raids are a follow-up to the Headlines Today investigation.
Speak Asia's worries don't end there. The Centre has also now stepped in to ensure that the company's investors of Speak Asia are not taken for a ride.
The Ministry of Company affairs has told Headlines Today that the government will ensure that the company does not indulge in any action which adversely impact the investors who have poured in millions into Speak Asia. D.K. Mittal, Secretary of Ministry of Company Affairs, said that the department will work in close collaboration with the RBI and SEBI to safeguard investors' interest. The government will now look into the alleged act of irregularities of the market research company.
A Headlines Today special investigation on Tuesday exposed the irregularities in Speak Asia.A day after Headlines Today reported the alleged investment fraud by Speak Asia, its franchises were raided at two locations in the Uttar Pradesh capital for alleged evasion of service tax.
The information was confirmed by the office of commissioner of excise and service tax in Lucknow. Authorities conceded that the raids were a follow up to the Headlines Today investigation that exposed the company's alleged fraud.
Meanwhile, the Union government also stepped in to ensure that the investors were not taken for a ride. The ministry of company affairs told Headlines Today that the government would ensure that the "Singapore-based" company did not indulge in any action which could adversely impact the investors who have put in millions of rupees into it.
D.K. Mittal, the secretary of ministry of company affairs, told Headlines Today that the department would work in close collaboration with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to safeguard the investors' interest.
Mittal said the government would look into the alleged act of irregularities by the company, which takes pride in calling itself "the largest integrated online survey group in the Asian subcontinent".
Asia Speak, which hawked a "get rich quick" scheme, had landed in a trouble after Mumbai Police received a complaint on Tuesday to probe its operations.
(Courtesy Headlines Today)