The Indian police have arrested four suspects in India’s biggest cryptocurrency scam to date. The four taken in include the suspected kingpin, Ashok Goyal. The Mumbai City Crime Branch also froze several bank accounts belonging to Goyal. The arrested suspects add on to last month’s seize which nabbed four other suspects.
According to a report by The Times of India, the suspects are implicated in a $14.5 million crypto scam. They allegedly conducted the scam using their own crypto, the CashCoin.
Sunil Jadhav, a senior inspector investigating the crime explained, “The gang launched CashCoin, a cryptocurrency similar to Bitcoin (BTC) a year back, and initially showed profits to few investors and gained their confidence. They thus got more investors and duped them.” He further added that the gang intended to dupe investors by promising to double their investments.
Mumbai’s City Crime Branch has also enlisted the assistance of Delhi police in the probe. The department has accused the suspects of several crimes including breach of trust and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code. Sources told the publication that the police may also invoke the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors Act which protects investors from scammers.
The report also revealed that the police are likely to question a Bollywood actor who has attended many of the suspects’ events. They allege that he may have received monetary compensation to promote the project.
Last month, the police arrested four other suspects in the same scam. They had held meetings in the cities of Mumbai, Surat and Uttar Pradesh. In these meetings, they convinced investors to stake their money in the company, promising to double their investments. However, the police caught up with them after one of the investors, Umeshchand Jain, reported losing $145,000.
Crypto scams have become worryingly common in India. This is partly due to the almost non-existent crypto regulations which scammers take advantage of. In recent times, the country, which is the second-most populated with 1.3 billion citizens, has attempted to formulate crypto laws. Nothing concrete has come of the efforts yet.
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