With the arrest of a 32-year-old man, Delhi Police Crime Branch Thursday claimed to have busted a gang which
allegedly cheated hundreds of people by luring them to invest in a “newly launched” cryptocurrency called ‘Kashh Coin’. According to police, the accused used to tell people that they would earn massive benefits once the price rates of the digital currency jumped.
Police claimed that the arrested accused, identified as Narender alias Sonu, was part of a gang running a pan-India network, and that they have cheated over hundreds of people of money amounting to crores.
Cryptocurrency is a digital asset or virtual currency, designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses cryptography to secure its transactions, control the creation of additional units, and verify transfer of assets. Although it is banned in India, countries like US have legalised the set-up through which people secure their business and transactions.
Crime Branch sources told The Indian Express that currently, the cost of one bitcoin, a cryptocurrency, is about Rs 12 lakh. Over 1.7 crore bitcoins are presently in circulation across the world, sources said.
Police said people could buy Kashh Coin online at a rate of Rs 3.50 per coin. After buying a coin or more, a customer had to create an account on the website.
DCP (Crime) Bhisham Singh said, “The accused would
tell people that the cost of Kashh Coin would go up. People from across the country invested in lakhs and crores.” The fraud came to light a few months ago, when one Arun Kumar, a resident of Delhi, approached police claiming that he was cheated to the tune of Rs 25 lakh. He told police that he had been lured into investing in ‘Kashh Coin’.
While investigating the case, police came across more people complaining of being duped in a similar manner.
Police then registered a case under IPC sections 420/120 B/34 and sections 3 and 4 of The Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978, and started their probe.
JCP (Crime) Alok Kumar said, “A Cyber Cell team led by Inspectors Sandeep Malhotra and Pawan under the supervision of ACP Sandeep Lamba was constituted and raids were conducted in Maharashtra, Rajasthan and UP. On Wednesday, the team nabbed Narender from Rithala in Rohini.”
During questioning, Narender told police that he used to be a property dealer and that he started multi-level marketing in 2011. He also told police that he came in touch with one Asif Malkani, allegedly the mastermind of the Kashh Coin venture, in November 2016.
“Malkani and his associates also organise lavish seminars in different places, including Nepal, Mumbai, Gujarat, Chandigarh, Raipur and Nagpur, for business promotion. At these seminars, they would claim that the rate of this coin will cross the cost of Bitcoin,” Singh said.
They used to invite eminent personalities to those seminars to attract more and more people, the officer said.