On July 30, Dhaval Mavani returned to India, arriving in Delhi. Mavani was deported from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after officials in India sought his extradition. He was one of five who were apprehended for their part in the 22,000 crore ($3.18 billion) SegWitCoin (BTC) scam.
Mavani, a resident of Surat, was deported from Abu Dhabi and sent back to Delhi, where he was taken into custody by CID officials. A red corner notice had been issued against the former website developer for Bitconnect after it was discovered in August 2018 that the company was allegedly involved in a scam.
The allegations were that Bitconnectwas offering investors as much as double the amount of BTC they had invested in 100 days or less. This went on for two years before complaints were lodged with the CID. Eventually, formal charges related to cheating, breach of trust, and criminal conspiracy were filed according to the IPC and The Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes.
According to reports, Malvani was hired in 2017 to help develop the website that would lead the company to be able to swindle $3.2 billion in cryptocurrency from investors. Police do not believe he was just the developer, surmising that he has extensive knowledge of how Bitconnect operated and was an integral part of the promotion of the scam.
Almost immediately after charges were filed, Mavani fled the country, reaching Abu Dhabi where he has been ever since. However, he was unable to escape the long arm of the law, as the Arab nation arrested Mavani and deported him back to India.
In a statement by AM Captain, the deputy superintendent of Police in Economic Offence Wing of CID, “According to his passport details, he had fled to Abu Dhabi from where he was deported to Delhi on Tuesday. He did not move anywhere in between that period of around a year.”
Besides the charges related to the scam, Mavani was also wanted as part of an ongoing investigation into an extortion case. According to police, the former Bitconnect developer was witness to an extortion where a Surat-based builder and his friend were allegedly kidnapped and extorted for a large sum of bitcoin and cash which included 2,256 BTC, 11,000 Litecoins and Rs 14.50 crore ($2.1 million).
According to the police report, Shailesh Bhatt and his friend, Piyush Savaliya, were kidnapped and held until the ransom was paid. Further investigation found that a dozen police officers were involved in the extortion, including the then Amreli SP and former BJP MLA Nalin Kotadiya.
The troubles may not end in India for Mavani. The FBI has been investigating the former developer since the early part of this year and has been actively seeking complaints from alleged victims. He may face additional charges in the U.S.
New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.