India Seizes in $162M in Crypto Investment Scheme

Key Takeaways:

  • In connection with a cryptocurrency scam, India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) seized assets worth 36.72 crore rupees ($5 million).
  • The ED began investigating the scheme after the Kerala Police filed a first information report (FIR) under the Indian Penal Code. 
  • According to the police, over 900 investors were duped out of 1,200 crore rupees.
India Seizes In $162M In Crypto Investment Scheme
India Seizes in $162M in Crypto Investment Scheme

In connection with a cryptocurrency scam, India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED), a specialized financial investigation agency under the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, seized assets worth 36.72 crore rupees ($5 million). The ED began investigating the scheme after the Kerala Police filed a first information report (FIR) under the Indian Penal Code. Several other FIRs were later filed by police in other districts. 

Morris coin, a nonexistent cryptocurrency, is used in the scheme. Nishad and his companies raised money from investors through an initial coin offering (ICO) for the coin. To attract investors, the ED stated that they held “promotional events in the presence of celebrities” and used “flashy websites.” According to the police, over 900 investors were duped out of 1,200 crore rupees.

According to the ED, the funds raised from investors were used to purchase immovable properties, cryptocurrencies, and luxury cars, as well as pay for premium hotels and resorts. Nishad K. and his associates are the owners of the seized assets. They include money in multiple bank accounts, land, and cryptocurrency purchased with criminal proceeds.

ED further noted that “Cryptocurrencies such as ETH, BTC, BNB, YFI, VET, ADA, and USDT, valued at ₹25,82,794, and maintained at Indian and international crypto exchanges, were found. They were purchased out of the proceeds of crime”.

In addition, a search action was also conducted under Section 17 of the PMLA,2002 at 11 premises situated across various States such as Kerala, Karnataka, Tamilnadu, and New Delhi. This resulted in the identification of details worth several Crore of immovable and other property details. The premises include the residential and office premises of the entities that are related to Nishad K and his companies. Further investigation is under progress by ED.

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Chaahat Girdhar

I'm Chaahat Girdhar, a journalist by profession who's turning her dreams into vision and vision into reality. I'm curious and have an appetite for gaining new knowledge. So I'm looking forward to learning things in the better way possible.

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