Wednesday, May 18, 2011

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 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'spossession 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.

Noose tightens
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.

Govt probe
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.

Headlines Today special investigation on Tuesday exposed the irregularities in Speak Asia

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