Rs1,200 crore crypto scam: ED attaches properties of Kerala businessman, aides
IANS 11 January 2022
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) said on Monday that it has attached assets worth over Rs36 crore belonging to a Kerala-based businessman named Nishad K and his aides, who cheated 900 persons of Rs1,200 crore by luring them to invest into cryptocurrency promising high returns.
Nishad K and his associates, who have been booked under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, allegedly lured depositors in the name of launching ‘Morris Coin Cryptocurrency'.
An ED official said that the attached assets include balances in multiple bank accounts of Nishad and his companies, immovable properties, including land of an associate close to Nishad and money equivalent to crypto currencies purchased out of the proceeds of the crime by a close aide of Nishad.
Initially, several FIRs were registered against them by the Kerala police in various districts, including Malappuram, Kannur and others. As per the FIRs, more than 900 investors were cheated to the tune of Rs1,200 crore.
On the basis of these FIRs, the ED initiated a money laundering case against the accused persons.
"The money laundering investigation carried out so far revealed that Nishad through his various companies collected deposit money from the investors in the guise of initial coin offer for the launch of Morris Coin Cryptocurrency. They impressed the investors by conducting promotional events with the presence of celebrities, and by introducing them to flashy websites with the provision of e-wallets. The amounts collected by duping the investors were siphoned through various companies operated by Nishad and his associates," said an ED official.
The official said that the deposits taken from the general public were illegal and without any statutory permission from any regulatory agency. This was basically a ponzi scheme and the investors were lured with the promise of very high returns.
The money obtained was used for the purchase of immovable properties, various other cryptocurrencies, luxury cars and for spending in luxury hotels and resorts.
"In this regard, cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum (5.92387265), BTC (0.08267646), BNB (5.51232875), YFI (0.023062), VET (4284.4), ADA (226.479601) and USDT (35.88576551) with a total value of Rs 25,82,794 were found and all the above cryptocurrencies, purchased out of the proceeds of crime, were converted into Indian rupees which have been attached by the Enforcement Directorate," said the official.
The ED also conducted raids at 11 premises of the accused, including in Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and New Delhi, resulting in identification of immovable and other properties worth several crores of rupees.
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
4 months ago
IMF says that there should be inter-governmental agreement for crypto. Too little ,too late ? There is little doubt that a lot of people -mostly young -will lose a lot or everything in this crypto mania. This will lead to various problems including crime by those who lost money. Golden time for financial criminals like in this case.
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