A major cryptocurrency gang that swindled over $14M from people from 22 countries was recently busted by the Special Task Force (STF) of Madhya Pradesh in India. According to police officials, the gang had created a fake cryptocurrency and exchange for trading it.
Co-founder of the Exchange Nabbed
Purshottam Sharma, special director general of the STF revealed that 4 members of the gang had been arrested so far, including a co-founder of the cryptocurrency exchange, Harpreet Singh Sahni. Sahni was nabbed at a hotel in Delhi, just a few hours before he was to board a Dubai-bound flight.
According to Sharma, India-born Sahni had shifted to Australia years ago where he used to run a security agency. Sahi was planning to set up a business in Maharashtra with the money gained from the fraudulent scheme.
Scammers had appointed agents in different countries to lure investors
The scammers had set up the cryptocurrency company in 2018 and shown high growth to deceive people when Bitcoin prices going down in 2018 and 2019. They had even appointed agents in several countries to lure investors and used to organize promotional events. A Malaysian named Mel Davidson had been appointed as the head of the company and the scammers used to pay him $ 3,000 as monthly salary.
The chain of events began when an investor from Australia, Rajeev Sharma, filed a complaint against the company in November 2018. Soon after Sharma’s complaint, 25 other investors from the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh lodged their complaints. The police began working on the case and got its first break on June 25, when it arrested 3 agents of the company – Brijesh Raikwar, Seema Raikwar, and Rupesh Rai.
The data of 1,500 people had been retrieved from the server installed in the company’s office in Jaipur, according to the police officials. The victims of the scam are from 22 countries including USA, UK, Australia, Switzerland, Singapore, Russia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Poland. So far, the fraud detected is estimated to be of 100 crore INR or a little over $14M.