IIT entrepreneurs arrested in Rs. 2,000cr bitcoin scam

Gogona Saikia


IIT entrepreneurs arrested in Rs. 2,000cr bitcoin scam

23 Apr 2018: IIT entrepreneurs arrested in Rs. 2,000cr bitcoin scam

Serial entrepreneurs Sahil Baghla and Nikunj Jain, co-founders of the Guguram-based Darwin Labs, were arrested today for their alleged links to Amit Bhardwaj.

Bhardwaj, the founder of GainBitcoin, is the prime accused in a $300mn (Rs. 2,000cr) Bitcoin scam.

Baghla and Jain were allegedly working with Bhardwaj and had helped build the portal GBMiner, a key part of Bhardwaj's massive scam.

Scam: All about the Rs. 2,000cr cryptocurrency scam

Bhardwaj, who set up India's first online retail marketplace that accepted bitcoins, owns several mining operations, including GainBitcoin.

Through his multi-level marketing scheme, he would lure people to invest bitcoins by promising 10% returns on each.

He also offered bitcoin mining hardware to investors, so they could mint their own.

However, instead of making promised payments to his 8,000 clients, he fled the country.

Duo: The role of Darwin Labs and its key professionals

Bhardwaj had much help from his partners, which included Darwin Labs CEO Baghla and Chief Security Officer Jain.

The duo worked as software developers and created the websites for GB miner, BTC payment gateway and BTC mining pool, all of which were used to run the scam.

For this and other help, they received 20% of Bhardwaj's profits.

Probe: How did cops discover their involvement?

Bhardwaj, who was arrested earlier this month, revealed the duo's role as well as the involvement of Ayush Warshne, CTO and COO at Darwin Labs.

Following his inputs, investigators procured emails wherein Darwin and Bhardwaj were discussing appointment of lawyers and CAs for routing their money overseas to evade tax.

It also revealed the role of another partner in the scam.