BHOPAL: An international racket which duped hundreds of investors in the pretext of investing in cryptocurrency has been busted in Madhya Pradesh by the state police’s special task force.
The main players of the racket, which include Malaysian and Hong Kong nationals, besides men based in Mumbai, Jabalpur, Bhopal and other parts of the country, duped investors in the name of investing in plus gold union coins (cryptocurrency) and the resultant fraud money was invested in Jabalpur, Bhopal and Chhattisgarh properties.
The money earned through the fraud was also invested in an Indian film production company AB-Motion Pictures Productions. Not only the fraudsters, but their victims too are spread across India as well in other countries, including South East Asia, Australia, the Middle East and China.
With the fraudsters, including foreign nationals and their victims too being investors from abroad, the MP STF could take help of specialized government agencies for probing the money laundering aspects of the case, Special DG of MP STF/Cyber Cell Purushottam Sharma said on Tuesday.
So far one of the two prime players of the racket in India, identified as Jabalpur-based Brijesh Raikwar has been arrested along with wife Seema Raikwar. Primary probe by the STF has led to Rs 4 crores
earned through the racket having been deposited in Seema Raikwar’s bank account, ADG-STF Ashok Awasthi said.
“Hitherto the investigations into the duping of at least 100 investors from India and abroad, six of whom hail from MP, has revealed the tune of fraud to Rs 10 crores, but the sum could well cross the Rs 50 crore mark, once the full database of investors of the server located in Jaipur (through which they operated a web portal representing the portal of the original Plus Gold Union Coin) is accessed by us,” said SP-STF Bhopal Vinay Paul.
Importantly, the two key players of this racket in India, Mumbai-based Rupesh Rai and Jabalpur-based Brijesh Raikwar are not IT professionals, but an air-conditioner mechanic and a diploma holder in
electrician trade respectively.
Most of the players of the busted racket were linked to the Hong Kong-headquartered original plus Gold Union Coin investment and trading company (linked to C-Cex exchange, which is the international
body pertaining to cryptocurrency). Importantly, in April 2018, the RBI banned banks and any regulated financial institution from dealing with or setting virtual currencies in India.
In November 2017, Malaysian national Daniel Francis and Hong Kong-based Kevin (both associated with the original Hong Kong-based plus gold union coin investment and trading body) met with their Indian associates Brijesh and Rupesh in Dubai, where the entire conspiracy of running a parallel network of plus gold union coin investment and trade through a web portal resembling the portal of the original player was hatched.
Subsequently, a web portal closely resembling the original web portal was developed by a Bangalore based web developer and a server in Jaipur was used to run the entire operations. The database of the original portal was arranged and the investors were duped to believe that the new web portal was linked with original trade and C.Cex exchange.
The investors were provided same login ids which they had in the original portal and made to invest in four categories of gold union coin, including bronze, silver, gold and platinum that entailed minimum investments ranging between Rs 20,000 and Rs 3.5 lakh.
“The operators of the racket held meetings in Mumbai, Jaipur, Delhi, Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur and other Indian cities, besides cities in South East Asia, Middle East and Australia, to lure the investors,” said SP STF Bhopal Vinay Paul.