India Government has been vary of cryptocurrency for quite a while. Looking at things from their perspective and noting the number of scams and money laundry incidents that have surfaced, their apprehensions are justified to somewhat extent. In June last year, a 500 crore cryptocurrency scam run by an organization going by the name ‘Flintstone Group’ was discovered, the Delhi cyber crime police have recently made another arrest.
The Flintstone Group launched a fraudulent cryptocurrency called Money Trade Coin (MTC). The firm promised 25,000 investors of massive returns which never did materialize. After the case was discovered, the Delhi cyber crime police went after the managing director of the firm, Amit Lakhanpal, and his chief accountant Sachin Shelar, however, they managed to flee the country.
According to the latest report by Indian Express, a man named Rohit Kumar has been arrested on Tuesday. Kumar is resident of Kanpur, U.P and has been accused of being a collection agent working on behalf of the accused.
Money Trade Coin Scam
The Flintstone Group weaved a very complex web to prove their project’s legitimacy to the investors. Notably, at one point they posed as Union Finance Ministry officials with fake I.D. cards and backstories. Moreover, they even participated in approaching the Delhi High Court to petition against the central bank’s ban over cryptocurrencies.
Lakhanpal, the CEO and scam mastermind allegedly attended events in Dubai which was reportedly attended by the royal family as well. It is there he boasted that his cryptocurrency will soon be accepted by the Ministry of Finance and would be treated as a legal tender to transact for real estate and that MTC had offices in the UK, Singapore, Italy, and Malaysia.
Headquartered at Delhi, these scammers manipulated investors into buying their phony cryptocurrency. 70 employees that were working for them has been left stranded following the police bust. They all are also under investigation in regards to the extent of their involvement in the group’s illegal activity.
Soon after the case was discovered by the Thane Police, Lakhanpal and Shelar fled the country, perhaps to Dubai or England, they remain at large and their exact whereabouts are unknown. A police source added:
“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.”
The case filed is against five men in total, with charges including fraud and criminal conspiracy. A total of 53 laptops has been seized as well as some fake documents along with some rubber stamps for fake authentification of said documents.
A similar scam managed by Amit Bhardwaj has also surfaced. Though the $300 Million Bitcoin Scamster has been arrested and some 452 Bitcoin was also recovered, such incidence has made the Indian government quite conscious about cryptocurrencies.
Although tides seem to be turning in the favor of cryptocurrency, just recently a report released by the Reserve Bank of India stated that “Cryptocurrencies Are Not A Threat”. Moreover, it is also been reported that many top Indian companies are planning to use cryptocurrencies for Internal Purposes.