The need to be cautious while investing in cryptocurrency assets has once more been highlighted by recent events. Hundreds have fallen to a massive Bitcoin mining scam in India, potentially losing thousands of dollars.
This scam was unraveled due to a series of lawsuits, mysteriously pointing in the same direction. This scam works like most other crypto scams: it lures victims into purchasing specific amounts of Bitcoin to have it doubled in 18 months.
Three victims of the scam invested about $50,000 in 2017 to purchase 45 Bitcoins, hoping to get 81 in 18 months.The suspected fraudster, Bhardwaj, was arrested at an airport in 2018 while trying to flee the country. He was granted bail, but the court is trying to decide if his bail should subsist.
However, he will be overwhelmed by lawsuits over the next few weeks, as he has defrauded over 100 persons in a scheme involving $130,000. The latest court action against Bhardwaj involves the family of a medical practitioner who were defrauded in the scam. A Patiala court had to wade in after the family alleged that the police didn’t take prompt action on a report that they filed earlier.
The family’s lawyer, Sunil Kumar stated that Amit Bhardwaj and his co-conspirator, Nirmal Jain were involved in the phantom mining scheme with which they defrauded uninformed investors. He added that despite promises of high returns that the family got nothing but threats from the fraudsters after they demanded for their money.
The financial crimes department of the Delhi police and the Enforcement Directorate working on the case stated that it is a multi-layered scam that involved siphoning investors money to destinations in Singapore, Dubai and elsewhere.
Bhardwaj escaped from the country in 2017 after the investors started mounting pressure on him through the authorities. He returned to India in 2018 and was picked up by the police after they were alerted of his presence.
“Bhardwaj was arrested on April 5, 2018, at the Indira Gandhi International Airport while returning from Bangkok and at present, he is on bail granted by the Supreme Court on health grounds,”Divyangana, Bhardwaj’s Supreme Court lawyer.