Indian Police Officials Nab A Fourth Suspect in Long-standing Crypto Scam Case

The Indian police officials have managed to make a fourth arrest in the cryptocurrency scam case that allegedly involves a whopping sum of 4 billion Indian rupees. The sum amounts to $71.6 billion in terms of dollars and is a rather high-profile case that the police have been on for roughly a year now.

The police officials of the Thane area in the city of Mumbai reportedly started unveiling the details of the case last year. Since then, the case has spread from the financial capital of India, Mumbai to other cities, including capital city Delhi.

In fact, this particular arrest was made by the police officers from Delhi after they received a tip off from an informant living in Kanpur, another Indian city. The arrested man is called Rohit Kumar.

The police say that the original scam had been orchestrated by a person called Amit Lakhanpal, who serves as the CEO of a real estate company. What he had done was that he had launched a new coin, Money Trade Coin (MTC), and worked in tandem with his team to drive up the price and then cause a sharp fall in its price, thereby cheating gullible investors of their hard earned money. This new coin was apparently never listed on any of the cryptocurrency exchanges.

Here, it is to be noted that India has an extremely dicey attitude towards cryptocurrencies, marked by great distrust and occasional ambivalence. The government is yet to draft a fully fleshed out document detailing its stance on the same.

However, state governments like that of Jammu and Kashmir have earlier warned Indian citizens to not invest in cryptocurrencies, considering the risks involved. RBI, the country’s apex bank, has almost continuously maintained an anti-crypto stance, with minor fluctuations.

You May Also Read: Why RBI Doesn’t Trust Cryptocurrencies in India?

The news, sourced from local mainstream media outlet The Indian Express, quoted an anonymous source as saying:

“the accused had set up office in Delhi’s Vikram Nagar and used [it] to collect money from investors promising high returns.”

The arrested four have been charged with cheating and criminal conspiracy among others. Lakhanpal allegedly used his social connections with the Dubai royal family to convince and mislead investors that he was working in professional partnership with the royals.

Naturally, this crypto scam won’t do much to alleviate tensions about crypto among the authorities, who did take a step forward in December 2018, as a governmental committee recommended legalising crypto in the country. But will Bitcoin ever be accepted as legal tender in India? Only time will tell.