Indian Authorities Detain 8 More Individuals, Including 4 Police Officers, in $300 Million Crypto Scam

Indian authorities have apprehended an additional eight individuals in connection with the extensive illegal cryptocurrency scheme that has its roots dating back to 2018.

Indian Authorities Detain 8 More Individuals, Including 4 Police Officers, In $300 Million Crypto Scam_65b97c099d986.webp

In the ongoing crackdown on a massive illegal cryptocurrency scheme that has plagued India since 2018, authorities have apprehended an additional eight individuals. This operation, which has defrauded over 100,000 people of a staggering $300 million (approximately 2500 crore Indian rupees), now brings the total number of arrests to 18.

Among the eight recently apprehended suspects, four of them are law enforcement officers themselves. Startlingly, the victims of this elaborate scam encompass 5,000 government employees and around 1,000 police personnel, according to findings by a Special Investigation Team (SIT).

indian authorities detain 8 more individuals including 4 police officers in 300 million crypto scam 65b97c09a0997

The fraudulent activity primarily revolved around a local cryptocurrency known as Korvio Coin (KRO coins), with its origins tracing back to at least 2018. Fraudsters enticed unwitting victims through fake websites and lured them into investment schemes involving Korvio Coin, which later expanded to encompass various other cryptocurrencies.

The alarm bells began ringing when local police received a total of 56 complaints regarding the cryptocurrency scam between 2021 and 2023. Subsequently, multiple agencies, including the Enforcement Directorate, collaborated with regional police teams to launch a comprehensive investigation led by the SIT.

indian authorities detain 8 more individuals including 4 police officers in 300 million crypto scam 65b97c09a9e75

In late October, a series of raids and searches were conducted, leading to the recovery of approximately 250,000 identification cards associated with the suspects. Investigations have revealed that over 100 individuals profited to the tune of $240,000 each from this fraudulent operation, while an additional 200 pocketed around $120,000 each.

While 18 individuals have been apprehended thus far, the alleged mastermind, Subhash Sharma, remains at large. Nevertheless, authorities have managed to locate and seize several properties linked to Sharma. Furthermore, the Enforcement Directorate is actively scrutinizing the activities of five women suspected of acting as agents or promoters for Sharma.

indian authorities detain 8 more individuals including 4 police officers in 300 million crypto scam 65b97c09b489d

Deputy Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Mukesh Agnihotri, has alerted the public to anticipate further arrests as the investigation progresses, especially now that authorities possess a list of individuals who had invested in the scheme.

Related: Sam Bankman-Fried Convicted on All Seven Charges, Facing 115-Year Prison Sentence

These developments occur in the wake of the recent successful crackdown on a fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme in Thailand, amounting to $277 million, with valuable assistance from Binance and U.S. authorities.

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