The Mumbai city crime branch, arrested four youths, who were running a cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme that was busted last month.
News portal Times of India reported that crime branch (Unit XII), arrested Ashok Goyal Jaipuria, Asif Malpani, Baljit Singh Saini and Pradeep Arora from Delhi after their names popped up in the Rs 100 crore racket. The mastermind behind the scam, Goyal had several of his bank accounts frozen.
The company called CashCoin, which was supposed to replicate bitcoin and the scammers lured potential investors by promising that the value of the coin would shoot up. Unit XII senior inspector Sunil Jadhav told the news portal, “The gang launched Cashcoin, a cryptocurrency similar to Bitcoin, a year back, and initially showed profits to few investors and gained their confidence. They thus got more investors and duped them.”
This is not the first time, something of this magnitude has taken place. Earlier, the Pune police had unearthed a scam forged by The Flintstone Group, an alleged real estate firm, that promised investors with not only flats and high returns on investmetn but also African and Caribbean citizenships.
The Flintstone Group’s cryptocurrency was termed as MoneyTradeCoin (MTC), which was used as a bait for investors to put in money with the lure of high returns and citizenships. The company also went into saying to investors that their cryptocurrency would be considered as legal tender in few years of time in all the African nations.
Thane Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh had said at a press conference, “The accused allegedly posed as representatives of the Union Finance Ministry and had also prepared fake identity cards to cheat people. Around 25,000 people fell prey to the accused and invested money in the company.”
Earlier this year, the fourth associate of the MTC was arrested. What made this case different was, Amit Lakhanpal (the founder of MTC) was one of the first petitioners to go up against the Reserve Bank of India, when the latter had issued a notice to banks directing them to stop working with cryptocurrency exchanges. In his petition, Lakhanpal had said, “When we started our business, we wrote to all relevant ministries and officials to ensure that our business model was in line with all statutory guidelines. But these arbitrary decisions by regulators and certain financial institutions have jeopardized our business interests. Today, we have been made to look guilty in front of our investors for no fault of ours.”
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