The web around Amit Lakhanpal, the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of The Flintstone Group, an alleged real estate firm, is closing in. Lakhanpal had introduced a cryptocurrency token called as MoneyTradeCoin (MTC). A few days back, a fourth associate was arrested by the Delhi Police.
As earlier reported by Crypto-News India, the scam came to light on basis of a complaint filed by a New-Delhi based businessman, who along with his five other colleagues had invested Rs 1.7 crore into their scheme (MTC) but had not received any feedback even after promised dates and frequently missed payout dates. The scam was valued around nearly Rs 500 crores.
The group had employed 70 employees in its two offices and police was also questioning their involvement in the matter.
According to a police officer: “Employees here were using MTC. Lakhanpal and his associates promised investors a 20-times return on investment in a mere six months. But once the deadline passed, the company made several excused to not release the money.”
The officer had added, “A few days ago, some investors even went to Dubai to meet Lakhanpal, but they were allegedly threatened and were told that they should not ask for their money. We also found that Lakhanpal had never constructed any building, even though he claimed to run a real estate company.”
As of June 2018, nearly three close associates of Lakhanpal had been arrested. A police source was quoted by news portal, Indian Express as saying, “The accused had set up office in Delhi’s Vikram Nagar and used to collect money from investors promising high returns. Lakhanpal was earlier holed up in Dubai and we believe that he may have fled to London.”
The portal quoted the police as saying that the accused inflated the cost of their cryptocurrency to shore up investments. When the price of the cryptocurrency fell, the investors were allegedly unable to redeem the currency.
Interestingly, Lakhanpal 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.”
It is only a matter of time before Lakhanpal faces justice.
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