New Delhi: Two people were arrested on Saturday for duping nearly 5,000 people by investing their money in bitcoins and fleeing away with the amount.
The matter came to light after several investors filed a complaint against a trading portal, following which the Cyber Crime Cell of Delhi police swung into action and arrested two Haryana residents, Deepak Jangra (37) and Deepak Malhotra (56).
Accused Deepak Jangra (in grey t-shirt) and Deepak Malhotra (in black) along with police officers
During interrogation, Jangra revealed that he got the idea for the multi-level marketing scam from GainBitcoin website, which allegedly duped 8,000 investors of about Rs 20 billion in Maharashtra. The scheme guaranteed 10% monthly returns for 18 months.
Jhangra had founded a company with Malhotra in Delhi’s Netaji Subhash Place in December 2016 and organised meetings and parties in various five star hotels to interact and attract investors to the scheme.
They falsely claimed that their trading portal is operated from US and asked investors to buy bitcoins from the different portals or the investment was taken in cash. The currency was then transferred to their website www.bitmineplus.org.
The accused offered returns to the tune of 12% in a month by virtue of international trade and bitcoin mining through their web portal, a police officer said.
“Initially, the investors got the due returns in the form of bitcoin and the withdrawal was also made by various investors. This helped in building confidence of the investors and in return they got more investment from the new and existing clients,” said DCP Aynesh Roy, who supervised the investigation team.
Roy further said, “After a few days, the returns were stopped by the company as there was no mining or trading platform of the company. The whole scheme was to get the investment with the predesigned motive to cheat.”
To trap the investors further, Jhangra developed his own cryptocurrency, and called it ‘BMP’. The duo planned to shift the investors to their own cryptocurrency and, therefore, he got the prices of BMP manipulated.
The scheme could last for only a few months before the bubble busted and the investors started questioning about the promised returns, said police.
The investigators, led by additional DCP KPS Malhotra, found a total 5,000 IDs, who invested in the scheme. They all have been duped by the accused.
Unable to return their money, Jangra absconded with his family in February 2018. Police said that the investigation in the fraud is underway. They might interrogate more people and more arrests could be made.