Cryptocurrency kingpin yet to be arrested, police say

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Cryptocurrency kingpin yet to be arrested, police say

Police are yet to arrest the cryptocurrency fraud kingpin, who has swindled millions of people from Himachal Pradesh to more than 200 crore since 2018, the year the crypto fever reached its peak.

The group lured people by offering substantial returns in a short span of time in crypto investments and created a network of investors.

The initial investors were then lured into a ponzi-style scheme, allowing them to get into other people.

The matter was raised by the Independent MLA Hoshyar Singh in the Vidhan Sabha, who pegged the money swindled from people in Kangra and Hamirpur alone to up to Rs 200 crore.

A special investigation team has been formed to investigate Singh's speech in the wake of his assembly speech.

The exact amount defrauded is not yet to be ascertained, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Northern Range, Abhishek Dhullar, who is heading the SIT, told PTI on Monday. The frauds employed a combination of misinformation, deception, and threats to maintain control over their scheme and continue to extract money from unsuspecting investors by manipulating the prices of their coins, he said.

KRO coins were the first coin they launched.

The buyer received an initial activation fee and promised substantial returns, the company said. The frauds used three to four cryptocurrencies during their five-year run.

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that is designed to serve as a medium of exchange through a blockchain-based computer network that is not influenced by any central authority, such as the government or bank to maintain or protect it.

The investors were encouraged to rope in more members, police said, once their accounts were activated.

The criminals employed a Ponzi scheme in which returns are paid to earlier investors from capital contributed by new investors rather than from any legitimate profits.

Investors were encouraged to keep recruiting new members, which created a cycle where money from new investments was used to pay returns to previous investors. The initial investors made substantial returns and became brand ambassadors of the scheme.

The scammers created fake websites to list their coins and manipulate their prices.

After enough people had purchased these coins at a higher rate, they then launched a new coin called the Cryptole, which was purposely brought down on its price causing a massive rugpull.

The accused introduced new coins and investment plans under different company names, such as and Each time a new coin was introduced, it was marketed as a yet another investment opportunity, police said.

The police have received 50 complaints about such frauds this year alone.

During their investigation, police found that the modus operandi across these frauds was similar and names involved common, said SP Cyber Crime director Rohit Malpani.

Since then, five people have been arrested and chargedsheeted in connection with these frauds and eight FIRs filed, police said.

Sanjay Kundu, the director-general of police, told PTI that he would not be available to speak on condition of anonymity.