Indian Bitcoin Scammer Amit Bhardwaj Sees $5.8 Million in Crypto Assets Seized
First Properties Of Indian Bitcoin Scammer Amit Bhardwaj Seized
The Directorate of Enforcement (ED), Indian economic intelligence agency has seized assets worth $5.8 USD million in relation to infamous bitcoin Ponzi scheme operator Amit Bhardwaj. The Delhi police have also taken Amit’s brother in custody.
The Indian law enforcement agency has appended fixed properties of the owner of GainBitcoin.com, including 6 offices in Dubai and the residential apartments and bank balances of two of his associates Hemant Bhope and Pankaj Adlakha, under the provision of Anti Money Laundering (AML) act.
The total value of the assets snared by the ED accounts for only about 2% of the total scam amount. In April 2018, the alleged kingpin and his brother Vivek were arrested in Bangkok after being on the run for months. Following their arrests, the Bhardwaj brothers were brought back to the country and have since been in the custody of the Pune Police. Bhardwaj and his associates originally targeted investors from the state of Maharashtra.
It is the first attachment in the case where Bhardwaj, under the semblance of Variabletech Pvt Ltd, Singapore, duped 8,000 people into investing in his fraudulent Bitcoin trading Ponzi scheme, www.gainbitcoin.com. The alleged conspirator would hold marketing events at expensive hotels across India, where his associates attracted attendees towards their Bitcoin mining investment schemes. In an event held in Noida city in 2016, which the author attended in person, the marketers claimed that GainBitcoin owns mining facilities in China. As proof, they showed attendees video clips that formerly belonged to one of the Motherboard coverages of a Chinese mining facility.
Under these shady schemes, Bhardwaj and his associated embezzled around 8,000 Bitcoins. When the time to pay back investors arrived, Bhardwaj issued them a privately created, and worthless, cryptocurrency called MCAP. He even purchased sponsored stories across the leading news channels in the Bitcoin industry to fake a positive sentiment about his coin.
The duo engineered a number of cryptocurrency-related schemes spreading across several states of the country. The Bhardwaj brothers operated an ecosystem of cryptocurrency schemes, ranging from mining pools, trading platforms, multi-level marketing schemes, and even developing a crypto token through the Singapore registered firm.
Notably, Bhardwaj even roped in Bollywood celebrities, including Bipasha Basu, Shilpa Shetty, and Nargis Fakhri, to promote his ebook called Cryptocurrency for Beginners. Shilpa Shetty’s husband and celebrated Indian businessman Raj Kundra also faced ED over his monetary involvement in Bhardwaj’s company.