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India’s Biggest Crypto Scam Could Be Bigger Than Previously Thought (Report)

India’s Biggest Crypto Scam Could Be Bigger Than Previously Thought (Report), Crypto Trading News
India’s biggest crypto scam to date continues to unearth new details, expanding the size and scope of the scam even four years after the case first broke.

Earlier, police estimated that the GainBitcoin scam cost around 80,000 BTC included, but now they suspect the number to be somewhere between 385,000 and 600,000, media reports said. Even at the current rate, 600,000 BTC is worth over $12 billion, nearly INR 1 trillion.

Reports also suggest that the number of people scammed could reach 100,000. Police First Information Report (FIR) complaints from investors who have lost their money in the MLM scheme have risen to 40. So far, the police have uncovered 60,000 user IDs and email addresses.

The mastermind behind the GainBitcoin scam, Amit Bhardwaj, died of cardiac arrest in January this year.

Flawed business model

This multi-level marketing program offered a 10% monthly return in Bitcoin on BTC investments for 18 months. Investors from India and abroad have deposited their BTC in the lure of higher yields. But given the limited supply of BTC, it was a flawed business model from the start that finally went bust in 2018, leaving a long trail of duped investors in its wake.

During the lengthy investigation and trial, the Supreme Court of India once asked the prosecutor to explain whether or not Bitcoin is legal in India — a question authorities have so far avoided directly answering.

Purse tracking

India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) is investigating the case and booked several of Amit Bhardwaj’s family members, including his father and brother, for their alleged involvement in the scam. In March, it prompted the Supreme Court of India to order one of the main defendants and Amit Bhardwaj’s brother to grant access to his crypto wallets by providing usernames and passwords.

However, the accused said through his lawyer that he had already given the police all the details.

But investigators believe the Bhardwaj family, including Ajay, used multiple wallets to collect BTC deposits, and many of them have yet to be traced. Earlier this month, the ED conducted raids on six locations in Delhi, including some linked to lawyers from a Delhi-based law firm.

Media reports revealed that the ED had confiscated several electronic devices and important papers, suggesting that the number of people scammed by the GainBitcoin scam could number over 100,000.

investigators arrested

Earlier, CryptoPotato reported that police arrested two private investigators for stealing about 1,100 BTC from one of the wallets while investigating the case. They were taken on board to assist the police in their investigation as the authorities lacked the necessary expertise.

One of the investigators was a former police officer from the renowned Indian Police Service (IPS) who retired voluntarily and founded a private investigation firm specializing in cryptocurrency fraud.

Source: Crypto News Deutsch

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