Indian Police Arrest 8 More as Crypto Fraud Balloons up to $300 Million
Indian authorities have arrested 8 additional individuals, including four cops, in connection with a massive crypto fraud that has ballooned to an astounding $300 million (2500 crore Indian rupees).
This fraudulent scheme originally came to light in late September and involved the duping of thousands, including government officials and police personnel.
Over 100,000 People Invested in Crypto Fraud
The scam, believed to have roots dating back to 2018, lured victims with investment plans revolving around a local cryptocurrency known as Korvio Coin (KRO coins).
As the scheme unfolded, it entailed the use of several other cryptocurrencies through fake websites, with at least one instance of a rug pull, where the project was abandoned after individuals had invested in the token.
What sets this fraud apart is the involvement of police personnel, with more than 1,000 officers ensnared in the scheme.
Some were unwittingly victimized, while others actively participated and became promoters.
Authorities Intensify Investigation into Ponzi Scheme
Around 56 complaints had been filed in the past two years, leading to a comprehensive investigation conducted by multiple agencies, including the Enforcement Directorate and regional police teams, all spearheaded by a Special Investigation Team (SIT).
The scam was brought to light by independent MLA Hoshyar Singh in Himachal’s parliament. At the time the fraud was valued at somewhere $20 million.
As reported earlier, authorities conducted raids at several locations and uncovered around 250,000 identification cards linked to the suspects.
More than 100 individuals are reported to have earned profits of $240,000 each from the scam, while another 200 made approximately $120,000 each. To date, 18 arrests have been made, though the alleged mastermind, Subhash Sharma, remains at large.
The Enforcement Directorate is also examining the involvement of five women suspected of acting as agents or promoters for the kingpin. The victims hail from various walks of life and collectively invested over ₹2,500 crore in this elaborate Ponzi scheme.
India is currently witnessing a significant surge in elaborate crypto frauds, with authorities struggling to prosecute perpetrators.