After a long drawn, overdue chase, infamous Indian cryptocurrency scamster Amit Bharadwaj will finally face justice.
Bharadwaj was the founder of GainBitcoin which duped people out of money to the tune of Rs 2000 crore. He had been on the run for the past few months. Faking a heart attack in the Dubai airport last week, he managed to give the security agencies a slip and escaped to Bangkok, Thailand.
The Indian government had to collaborate with the government of Thailand to bring him back into the country. At the moment, he is enroute to Pune.
According to News18, he allegedly also has links to Pakistan’s ISI and was reportedly in touch with his handlers. However, it remains to be seen if there is any veracity in these reports.
#BREAKING Rs 2000 crore cryptocurrency scamster arrested from Thailand. Amit J Bhardwaj held in Bangkok after escaping from Dubai.
Original Input: @manojkumargupta.#Faceoff with @Zakka_Jacob pic.twitter.com/oLTRDOlacx
— News18 (@CNNnews18) April 4, 2018
Earlier, Crypto-News had reported on this man’s fraudulent website. He had a team of dedicated scamsters who would take advantage of people who did not know anything about cryptocurrencies and persuade them into signing up for GainBitcoin website.
The website was an elaborate Ponzi scheme that guaranteed 10% monthly returns for 18 months. So, you’d end up having a profit of 80% after 18 months. But if you’d directly invested in Bitcoins back in January, you’d have a profit of over 700%.
Apart from that, the company moved on to more ventures and created MCAP Tokens. MCAP tokens were valued at $5 during the ICO and miners were given an option to accept the payout in the form of MCAP tokens. But a few months back, the users were no longer given a choice. The payouts were only in the form of MCAP tokens.
But the biggest fraud is in the valuation of MCAP. The company values MCAP token many times higher than the market price.
However, his arrest has not come as a surprise. Earlier many investors had called out his website for being fraudulent. One person left a particularly long comment on a rating website saying, “Gainbitcoin is a BIG FRAUD. As long as you submit money, it is fast and will take seconds, however, when you have to withdraw your BTCs, it will take several days of your time and extensive research on internet. They ask you to create account at multiple sites like coinbank, c-cex etc. (SEE.. COINBANK IS DIFFERENT FROM COINBASE.. THEY HAVE NAMED IT COINBANK JUST TO RESEMBLE A GENUINE WEBSITE)They will ask you to convert your BTC to MCAP and you will get only 10% of the actual value. They will send your BTC to coinbank in MCAP, from coinbank to c-cex, now convert these MCAP to BTC and then to your actual wallet. If you have send $1000.00 worth BTC to them, they will promise to pay $1800.00 worth BTC in 18 months, however, will actually pay $180.00. So you will loose $1620.00 in 18 months.”
UPDATE: After arresting eight people for running the Ponzi scheme, the Pune police held a press conference to update people of the situation. All the accused were associated with GainBitcoin and its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Amit Bharadwaj.
Rashmi Shukla, Commissioner of Police, Pune said, “GainBitcoin, through their new and phoney cryptocurrency investment scheme called ‘GB21’, duped investors by guaranteeing 10% monthly returns. Bhardwaj and his associates used to hold workshops to lure investors. We suspect around 8,000 investors in the city to have been swindled.”
The police added that so far, they have recovered 32 bitcoin, 79.99 ether and cash of Rs. 38.96 Lakhs from the accused. During the course of investigation, the police revealed that there is still 160 bitcoin, 3,00,000 MCAP and 80,000 ether in the accused’s possession.
Till date, the police said around 25 people lodged a complaint which brought the amount swindled to around Rs 2.25 crore. The police has registered the offences under the sections of the prize chits and money circulation schemes (Banning) Act, IT Act and the MPID Act. The accused have also been slapped with non-bailable offence and the Pune police is working with the cyber cell to crack the case.
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