With crypto scams, hacks, and rugpulls being the norm of the day, crypto crimes have become more prevalent.
Recently, the Indian police arrested 11 people in connection with a fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme that allegedly defrauded close to 2,000 investors out of $5.4 million.
Cryptocurrency Scam Worth $5.4 Million
In the latest crackdown by the Indian police, the authorities came down firmly on a cryptocurrency investment scheme that has duped over 2,000 investors out of $5.4 million (40 crore INR).
As per data from local news agencies, the number of arrests reached 11 around February 22, while close to 7 people were arrested on Sunday in Maharashtra’s Nagpur.
The main accused in this scam is Nishid Wasnik and his wife Pragati, alongside two other associates, Gajanan Mungune and Sandesh Lanjewar. The four of them were arrested just a day ago in Pune.
Reportedly, Wasnik had even organized a seminar on cryptocurrency investment in Pachmarhi in Madhya Pradesh.
The alleged scammers went into hiding around March last year and had been on a run until they were arrested this Saturday.
A statement from the police described that Wasnik used to flaunt his luxurious lifestyle to lure people into investing in his firm. The couple convinced people that their firm was dealing in Ethereum (ETH).
That said, officials were quoted as saying:
“He (Wasnik) manipulated the firm’s website to show a steady rise in the value of investments while transferring money into his accounts fraudulently between 2017 and 2021.”
All 11 people have been charged under IPC, Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors Act, and Information Technology Act provisions by Yashodhara Nagar police in Nagpur.
Despite the market volatility, the recent tax imposed on the asset class, and an uncertain legal status, cryptocurrencies continued to fascinate Indian investors.
The number of crypto users and traders has seen a decent rise over the last few months.
Worryingly, however, with an increase in users across the globe, a surge in crypto crimes follows.
Data from Indian news organizations revealed that in 2021 alone, Indian users visited crypto scam websites over 9.6 million times. That said, over the last couple of years, crimes and scams surrounding the top cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum have considerably gone up too.