A year after Thane Police busted a Rs 500-crore cryptocurrency racket in Mumbai, Delhi Police have arrested an associate of the main accused. Acting on a complaint by a Kanpur-based resident, the cyber cell of Delhi Police arrested Rohit Kumar, a collection agent, on Tuesday.
According to police, the man who launched the cryptocurrency, Amit Lakhanpal (32), is the chief executive officer of a real estate firm. Police said he had floated his own cryptocurrency, Money Trade Coin (MTC), which was allegedly never listed in any cryptocurrency market.
As reported by The Indian Express on June 20 last year, the Thane Police had arrested three persons, including Lakhanpal’s chief accountant.
“The accused had set up office in Delhi’s Vikram Nagar and used to collect money from investors promising high returns. Lakhanpal was earlier holed up in Dubai and we believe that he may have fled to London,” said a police source.
As per police, the accused inflated the cost of their cryptocurrency to shore up investments. When the price of the cryptocurrency fell, the investors were allegedly unable to redeem the currency.
The FIR was registered on December 31, 2018, under IPC sections 420 (cheating), 120-(B) (criminal conspiracy), section 4 of the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978 and Section 66 (D) of the IT Act, 2000.
Police said that as per the FIR, Lakhanpal allegedly conducted high-profile events in Dubai, which were attended by some members of the royal family. Police claimed that as Dubai has opened its doors for investment in cryptocurrency, the accused used it to his advantage to lure potential clients. “The accused also showed prospective clients an article in an international magazine, which claimed that one of the royals was his partner,” said a police officer.
Police said the complainant wrote in his statement that Lakhanpal posed as a member of the Ministry of Finance, claiming that MTC has offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Italy and the United Kingdom.
The complainant also alleged that Lakhanpal told investors that they could buy houses in Dubai, and the coin would soon be accepted by the Ministry of Finance, police said.