Just a month after it was reported that a former operations head at a Ducati superbike dealership in Bengaluru duped customers for Rs 5.1 crore, a new revelation has been shared. It has now been reported that the main accused has been apprehended for an alleged embezzlement scheme that defrauded customers of Rs 5.1 crore. The accused has been identified as Sri Rakesh, and he is accused of selling 21 Ducati motorcycles without the knowledge of the company.
Sri Rakesh, aged 38, who served as the operations head at the VST Ducati dealership in Bengaluru, Karnataka, for over five years, resigned in October this year. This resignation then triggered an audit by the company, during which massive discrepancies came to light. Following this, a police complaint was filed by C N Mahesh, the general manager of human resources at VST Ducati. Mahesh also revealed the extent of the alleged fraud.
According to the police complaint, it has been reported that Sri Rakesh strategically sold 21 Ducati bikes of various models between June 2019 and September 2023 without making any record of the sales in the company database. It has also been reported that, in order to entice customers, Rakesh used to offer them lucrative discounts and collected funds from them. After this, the money collected was deposited into the account of an unrelated company named ‘Office Speciality Supplies,’ operated by Rakesh through associates.
Emission Standards Violation
Presently, with the investigations, it has also been reported that a potential scam linked to the sale of motorcycles that only met BS IV emission standards has also taken place. At the moment, the vehicle registration norms require compliance with emission standards after March 30, 2020; however, the police found that these Ducati bikes were sold without meeting these standards. The investigation has also found that the illegal registration of these vehicles was done in Arunachal Pradesh’s Kurung Kumey RTO with the help of another person.
Investigation of the company
Apart from the investigation on Sri Rakesh, VST and Sons Company is now under the spotlight for potential lapses in its oversight mechanisms. An official in charge of the investigation stated, “Through Rakesh, the VST and Sons Company has sold five bikes under BS4 norms. We are investigating the role of the company in this.” He added, “It is surprising that the company hasn’t checked the audit or even noticed 21 bikes being sold without their knowledge. If there’s any foul play, it will be discovered during the course of the investigation.”
Recovery and ongoing Investigations
It has been reported that after Sri Rakesh’s arrest, the police have recovered 10 of the 21 bikes, valued at Rs 2.32 crore. However, five bikes have already been sold to customers in different states. Presently, the police are actively trying to gather information on these transactions. The authenticity of invoices and other procedures related to bike sales and registration are under observation as the investigation continues.