In a significant development in the fake followers scam, the Mumbai Police Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Saturday verified 25 people in connection to the case, most belonging to the social media business. The SIT team added that the names of the persons will not be disclosed since it could hamper the probe in the case.
"Mumbai Police SIT has verified 25 people till now. A few of them have recorded their statements as witnesses in this case as of now," said Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Nandkumar Thakur, Crime Branch. "Police will not disclose the names of people under investigation as this may hamper the probe," he said. "Most of the people who are identified or whose statements are recorded are people who are in the social media business," added DCP Thakur.
Earlier in the week, Mumbai Joint Commissioner of Police Vinay Kumar Chaubey, in a statement, revealed that they had investigated and found that 54 firms were involved in the racket. This comes shortly after the Mumbai Police revealed that there were about 10 top celebrities who may have used services from companies providing fake followers.
As per inputs, high-profile celebrities like Bollywood celebs, sports personalities as well as builders pay a certain amount to buy followers, subscribers, and comments on social media platforms. It has also been revealed that the companies that sell these services are most likely to be present on an international scale.
With respect to the case, the Mumbai police last week arrested 29-year-old Kashif Mansoor for allegedly selling fake followers. As per the Mumbai police, Mansoor had completed 25,000 orders till date and sold 2.3 crores fake followers. During the investigation, the SIT found about 100 companies selling fake social media followers.
According to reports, 176 high-profile celebrities have paid money to get followers, and the list of celebrities that reportedly used such services is based on a 2019 study. As per reports, one such website that they found during the investigation is based out of France, which makes the police believe that the racket might be on a global level.
(with inputs from ANI)