Massive $300 Million Crypto Scam Unravels in India: Eight New Arrests, Including Four Cops
In a major development in the ongoing investigation into a $300 million cryptocurrency scam in India, local authorities have made eight new arrests, further exposing a web of deception that has ensnared around 100,000 victims. The unfolding scandal has sent shockwaves through the nation, as it now involves not only alleged fraudsters but also law enforcement officers.
The elaborate scam, centered in Himachal Pradesh, came to light in late September, but authorities suspect it may have commenced as early as 2018. Fraudsters lured potential victims with investment opportunities in a local cryptocurrency known as Korvio Coin (KRO coins). As the investigation has progressed, it has become evident that several other cryptocurrencies were used through fraudulent websites, with at least one instance of a “rug pull,” where a cryptocurrency project was abandoned after investors had already purchased tokens.
What is particularly startling about this case is the involvement of police personnel, with four officers among the recent arrests. The victims of the scheme include an astonishing 5,000 government officials and approximately 1,000 police personnel, according to findings by a Special Investigation Team (SIT).
This scam’s apparent legitimacy was bolstered by its infiltration of the police force. More than 1,000 police officers became entangled in the scheme; some were deceived, while others reaped significant profits. Shockingly, some even volunteered and became promoters of the fraudulent cryptocurrency, further complicating the matter.
The Himachal Pradesh scam has been under investigation for over two years, during which time approximately 56 complaints were filed with local police stations. The investigation extended to multiple agencies, including the Enforcement Directorate, in collaboration with regional police teams. The sweeping inquiry, led by the SIT, gained momentum with dozens of searches conducted in late October, leading to the discovery of around 250,000 identification cards linked to suspects.
The magnitude of the scam is evident in the substantial gains made by those involved. The investigations have unearthed more than 100 individuals who allegedly earned profits of $240,000 each from the scheme, while an additional 200 are believed to have made around $120,000 each.
While a total of 18 arrests have been made thus far, the alleged mastermind, Subhash Sharma, remains at large. Authorities have identified and seized several properties linked to Sharma as part of their ongoing efforts to bring those responsible to justice.
The unraveling of this $300 million cryptocurrency scam has revealed the deep-seated complexities of the case, with its wide-reaching impact on government officials, law enforcement personnel, and countless victims. As investigations continue, it is expected that further revelations will shed light on the true extent of this elaborate and shocking deception that has left many in India reeling from its repercussions.
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