Bitcoin frauds in India, state government orders probe
The government of Maharashtra, India ordered a special investigation team (SIT) on Tuesday to investigate bitcoin fraud cases reported from across the state. According to LiveMint report, lookout notices against companies found cheating have been issued by the government. The announcement was made by the minister of state home Deepak Kesarkar for a home in the legislative council.
If a situation arises, the government is ready to seek help from the Enforcement Directorate, Kesarkar added. Kesarkar told Mint that SIT would be looking into all the cases reported. “No time frame has been given to the SIT to complete the probe. Each case is at a different stage of investigation and will take its own time,” Kesarkar said.
Moreover, a written reply was issued by the government in the legislative council. It said that says though the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had not recognized cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin (BTC) it has not termed it “illegal” either.
“However, RBI has from time to time issued circulars cautioning the general public against investing in cryptocurrencies and similar notional currencies not issued by RBI,” the reply says. Reportedly, bitcoin fraud was noticed in Kolhapur, Yavatmal, Pune, and Thane which involved three companies. The issue was raised in reference these cases and in the written reply it was mentioned that a company called Zipcoin Cryptocurrency raised deposits from people in and around Kolhapur by promising 15% returns on investment and said it will be provided in the form of bitcoins. Reportedly, the company cheated 17 investors of a total of more than ₹2 crore. However, six of them have been arrested so far.
Another such case was reported against a company known as Gain Bitcoin company. They have been reportedly cheating investors in Yavatmal and Pune of a total of more than ₹17 crore. So far, there people arrested and police is still hunting for other accused. Third case related to something similar was against Flintstone Technology – reports of cheating have been filed in Thane. Police arrested two people so far and also recovered ₹1.02 crore from the company. The total fraud amount was around ₹1.76 crore.
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