Indian police has arrested the ringleaders of an alleged scam cryptocurrency, Cashcoin, that resulted in $14 million being stolen from investors. The suspects led investors to believe that they would double their returns on the investment.
The Times of India reported that officials had arrested 4 individuals — Ashok Goyal Jaipuria, Asif Malpani, Baljit Singh Saini and Pradeep Arora — from Mumbai and New Delhi, and had frozen the bank accounts of Jaipuria, who is believed to be the mastermind. The police had earlier arrested other individuals linked to the project.
A Bollywood actor is also reported to be embroiled in the incident, as he attended promotional events for which he is believed to have received financial compensation:
The gang launched Cashcoin, a cryptocurrency similar to Bitcoin, a year back, and initially showed profits to few investors and gained their confidence. They thus got more investors and duped them, said Unit XII senior inspector Sunil Jadhav.
The accused have been charged with cheating, breach of trust, criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code and sections of the Information Technology Act.
This is not the first cryptocurrency scam that has taken place in India. In January 2019, police arrested the individuals behind a scam that resulted in over $70 million being stolen from unsuspecting and uninformed investors.
India has been on the stricter side of regulation when it comes to cryptocurrency. Government officials do not consider cryptocurrencies to be legal tender. India has formed panels to look into cryptocurrencies, but these panels have offered ambiguous statements that offer no real clarity or official stance on cryptocurrencies.
The Indian Supreme Court has ordered the government to come up with a decision, though there is no word on this yet. The court will hear the crypto case on March 29.