Business

Gerald Fenech

Chief of BitConnect’s Asia operations arrested at Delhi airport

The BitConnect saga continues, this time with reports that the alleged Asia chief of cryptocurrency sector’s most elusive and sensational scam has been arrested at the Delhi airport in India.

Divyesh Darji, reportedly the head of BitConnect India, was taken into custody after he arrived from Dubai last Saturday, according to DNA India.

“Darji was living in Dubai. A look-out circular was issued against him. The Immigration Department alerted us when he was on the way from Dubai to Ahmedabad, after which he was arrested,” PG Narwade, of Criminal Investigation Department of Gujarat police, was quoted by Financial Express saying.

Local media outlets reported that Darji’s company was registered in the UK but was operating from the Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai. This could have been descried as a very fitting place for the BitConnect scam to operate from. Crowned the tallest structure in the world since it was inaugurated in 2010, it really mirrors the fabled BitConnect operation which was based on huge promises, enormous returns, big gains, spectacular conferences and finally, as expected, a huge fall.

Darji and his team of alleged crooked individuals convinced a huge swathe of the public to catch the crypto train, with BitConnect promising perpetual returns as it supposedly used invested Bitcoin to pay for other crypto investors’ returns. Investigators said Darji and his cohorts made off with about INR88,000 crore (USD12.6 billion) from unsuspecting investors via his company called BitConnect.com.

The scam work when the market shot up in 2017, and BitConnect’s claims were defended by participants. However, when a small correction in the market occurred, the entire scheme collapsed—and promoters bailed.

According to Narwade, “The company came into existence in 2016, and in 2017, it launched the BitConnect coin. It remained active till January this year. It released 2.80 crore coins, out of which 1.80 crore coins were sold to investors… The accused held seminars, events in India and other countries promising high interest—daily interest rate of 1 percent—on investment in BitConnect coins. The cost of one BitConnect coin on January 16, 2018, when the company shut down, was USD362.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as SegWitCoin BTC coins. Altcoins, which value privacy, anonymity, and distance from government intervention, are referenced as dark coins.

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