Fake influencer scam: Police records statement of COO from digital marketing firm used by Badshah to buy ‘views’

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |

Updated: August 13, 2020 10:37:50 am

THE MUMBAI Police on Wednesday recorded the statement of Sagar Gokhale, chief operating officer of digital marketing company Qyuki, in connection with the fake social media influencer scam.

Gokhale was called in after rapper Aditya Sisodia alias Badshah, in his statement to the police, said he had paid Qyuki around Rs 75 lakh to get 75 million “views” in a day for a song he released last year.

Gokhale told police that he was not much aware of the company’s affairs, and that Samir Bangara, co-founder and managing director of Qyuki, had died in a bike accident in June.

Also Read| Influencer scam: Police records statement of COO of digital marketing firm used by Badshah ‘to buy views’

“He told us that Bangara knew more about the company and he did not know a lot. He told us that the CFO and video network manager of the company would know more about the video Badshah was talking about. We have called the duo along with Gokhale again tomorrow,” an officer said.

According to police, Badshah told them that he had paid Rs 75 lakh to get 75 million views for his album Pagal.

Police said Badshah wanted to create a world record for the highest number of views for an album in 24 hours.

Police have found an invoice from Badshah, showing that the amount was paid to Qyuki.

“The invoice, however, states that it was for advertising. So we want to question Qyuki about the advertising they did for the album. We suspect it is a case of inflation of views and not advertising. We will have more clarity after their statements are recorded tomorrow,” the officer said.

Badshah too has been summoned again on August 17.

So far, two persons have been arrested in connection with the scam.

This was after a playback singer had approached the police stating that a fake account had been created under her name. The Mumbai police commissioner then asked Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze to probe the scam, in which fake accounts were created to provide services like high number of likes and views.

An officer said the chargesheet against the two accused should be filed soon and more arrests were likely next week.

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