The hype of cryptocurrency in India has started showing its side effects. One after another the so-called role models of crypto-preneurs are getting exposed as they are accused of running their cryptocurrency based startups like a Ponzi scheme.
As per reports by Hindustan Times, another big-shot in cryptocurrency, Amit Lakhanpal has been on the loose, after Mumbai police accused him of masterminding a $75 million crypto-currency Ponzi scam. The crime branch in Thane busted a racket wherein several investors across the country were being duped by a gang in Crypto-currency Ponzi schemes, on June 5th. According to the police, this fraud diverges from Rs 300 crore to Rs 500 crore.
Confirming to reports, the scam was a mastermind’s brew, hatched by The Flint-stone Group – apparently, a dubious real estate company. Flint-stone Group’s crypto-currency known as MoneyTradeCoin (MTC), was a rope-in snare for investors who were lured by high-returns dream and invested a great deal, for the same.
Additionally, Crime-branch of Thane has detained another Mumbra-resident, dubbed as Taha Kazi. He is, apparently, a prime technical support staffer at the company and is likely to be in the back of the driver’s seat.
The Plush-And-Plump Scam Artist
MTC, which is jointly owned by Dubai based firm Bitcoin Global FZE, UAE and Money Trade Coin Ltd, UK. Dr. Amit Lakhanpal, the Director of Money Trade Coin Ltd., has left no stones unturned in promoting their company. Given this, promoters brag how MTC is a safer and superior alternative for investors to invest more in form of digital currency. However, in a completely contradictory note, the recent findings depict the fraudulent side of the company wherein investors are being misled with promises of real estate or high returns.
Uncovering the Extravagant Ploy
India Today reporters posed as investors met office bearers of Flint-stone Group in Thane. Disguised as affluent investors, and pitching in investments worth crores of rupees worked out in favour of the reporters. An alleged senior official of MTC, Digamber Jangle was clearly hooked on the deal. He went on to claim that sealing this deal might pave way for a secured bond, accompanied by a citizenship in a Caribbean country. This official boasted about their connection with governments of Antigua and Barbuda island and how their coin would soon be a legal tender in some of the peripheral countries.
By luring investors with huge returns and a secured estate was phase one for the whole scam, wherein phase two was much easier i.e., escaping with the money.
There has been much whistle-blowing by sections of Indian media’s about Lakhanpal and his crypto scam since the day of its launch. With, aptly, no shut-eye, a cursory online check on his so-called business history uncovered how this crypto-currency was just one out of twenty-two businesses, established within a year, with a share capital value of one GBP.
Lakhanpal and his associates were accused of making promises to investors of a 20-times return on investment over a period of six months. However, on the deadline being crossed, no amount was released. When some investors went to Dubai, they were threatened and sent back. In addition to the misery, there’s no building in the name of Lakhanpal, who was supposed, running a real estate company.
India’s Second Ponzi Scam; Behind The Scenes
The number of cases related to cryptocurrency frauds in India is on the rise. People are falling prey to these frauds in a lust of mind-boggling returns.
In May this year, Gujarat police arrested eight rogue policemen and arrested two of them for kidnapping and allegedly extorting Bitcoins worth Rs 120 million from a Surat-based businessman.
But the biggest bitcoin scam in India was done by another startup founder Amit Bharadwaj, who allegedly duped people for $300 million. Bharadwaj was the kingpin behind India’s largest cryptocurrency fraud till date. His dramatic arrest in April this year exposed a lot more about the ongoing cryptocurrency frauds in India, and about high profile businessmen associated with it.