Astrology firm didn't see what lay ahead

An  astrology teleshopping company's credibility was under attack by a gang based out of Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras district.

For almost a year, fake janam kundalis, yantras, rudrakshas and other astrological products were being sold under the company’s name, says Rajesh Sharma, director of the Delhi-based Astro Science. Four persons were arrested in this case about a week ago.

Police had received a complaint in July from Sharma, alleging that the suspects had stolen client data from his company’s call centre. 

The suspects wanted to cash in on the company’s brand image to sell fake products. “We have been in this business for over 30 years. And this company is now six years old,” says Sharma. 

“Bas Ab Dukh Aur Nahi (Now no more unhappiness),” the company’s punchline reads.
The company grew suspicious when dissatisfied customers started complaining about incomplete janamkundalis. “The customers were asked to send back their packages.

And we had it cross-checked with Punditji,” says Sharma, while adding that many a times they had to face people’s wrath.

“We are still receiving complaints about fake books and yantras.”
After the complainant approached the cyber cell of Crime Branch, raids were carried out at all suspected call centres and printing locations run by the accused.

“Careful analysis of call records, courier delivery receipts and inquiries from the clients revealed that Hathras in UP was the hub of this racket,” says S D Mishra, the Deputy Commissioner of Police at Economic Offences Wing.

During the probe, it was found that the suspects used data from the call centre to dupe people wanting astrological intervention.

Police recovered fake astrology booklets and other incriminating evidence on the hard disk.
“People trust us. That is why one customer was even ready to pay Rs 1 lakh for a product being sold in our name,” says Sharma.

The company's products, promoted through teleshopping shows, come with an assurance of being ‘sure shot solutions to all your worries’.

Well-known TV astrologer and author of a bestselling book ‘Yes I Can Change’, Pundit G D Vashist is the face of the company.

Accused held

The accused were identified as Tarun Kumar Agarwal, 20, Sanjeev Kumar, 23, Giriraj Kishore, 30, and Rajesh Narula, 39.

The investigation revealed that Kumar and Kishore had been running a telecall centre for the last three months. Narula was their aide who printed fake janamkundalis and other astrology books.

The 20-year-old accomplice was an experienced telemarketer at Hathras.   Police said the four have duped at least 50 people. Depending on the product, they charged a sum of Rs 10,000-15,000. But Sharma claims that his company lost nearly Rs 1 crore due to this fraud.
“It was a huge racket. They had even planted their own people in our call centre,” he adds.

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