Nanded police, probing one of the first three cases in the Bitcoin Multi Level Marketing (MLM) scam worth thousands of crores, have said interrogation of prime accused Amit Bharadwaj and subsequent investigation have provided crucial clues on how the money was parked outside India. Bharadwaj (35), who has till now been interrogated by police from Pune, Nanded, Kolkata, Thane and Chandigarh, was arrested by a special investigation team of Pune police in the first week of April, after he landed at Delhi airport from Bangkok. Before that, Pune police had arrested seven persons who acted as agents, including a motivational speaker who held workshops to lure investors.
While two separate FIRs have been registered at Dattawadi and Nigdi police stations in Pune, one more case was simultaneously registered with Nanded police, in which a doctor is the complainant. In May, the Enforcement Directorate registered an Enforcement Case Investigation Report (ECIR), equivalent to an FIR, based on the FIRs registered with Nanded and Pune police. The ECIR was against Bharadwaj, his accomplices and the company GainBitcoin.
“After being interrogated by Pune police, our team got Bharadwaj’s custody. Based on his interrogation and subsequent investiagtion, we have got crucial clues about how these racketeers parked the money in places like China, Dubai and Hong Kong where their company already had crypto-currency mining business,” said an officer from Nanded police. He added that in the first week of July two more suspects from Nanded were arrested in connection to the module in Nanded.
“The clues about money laundering have been communicated to the Enforcement Directorate. The probe shows that Bhardwaj and his aides had set up an elaborate MLM system by luring investors to hand him Bitcoins in the promise of higher returns. This money was later diverted to bigger international markets and other money siphoning methods,” said a police officer from Nanded.
The total volume of the fraud in which over 8,000 persons across India have been cheated is estimated to be anywhere above Rs 5,000 crore.