A Delhi-based crypto exchange, Pluto, has allegedly exit scammed and stolen about $270,000 worth from 43 investors. The local reports suggested that the Economic Offence Wing of the Delhi Police has launched an investigation into the alleged scam after complaints from the investors.
The investors revealed that the founder of the exchange, Bharat Verma, lured them into making investments by claiming that the exchange was launching a native token as well as mining cryptocurrencies through “f2poolminin.” The investors would be assured a monthly return of 20-30% on their investment. The investors were allegedly promised a commission as well if they brought in more investors.
When the investors did not receive the promised returns, the owner of Pluto Exchange claimed that the companies bank accounts had been frozen and falling bitcoin prices as the key reasons.
The exchange has also shifted its base from Delhi to Dubai, and one of the investors in the project claimed that Bharat Verma managed to siphon at least $6.8 million before disappearing.
Rising Scams Could Dent India's Chances to Get a User-Friendly Regulation
Indian crypto ecosystem breathed a sigh of relief in March this year when the Supreme Court of the country overruled the banking ban imposed by the Reserve Bank of India in April 2018. However, many speculations are still rife that the government plans to put a blanket ban, which has been the case even during the banking ban.
While there is no concrete evidence to the point that government would impose a complete ban on the trading or exchange of cryptocurrencies, the rising cases of various scams in the market could potentially dent chances to get user-friendly regulations.
One report suggested that scammers targeting India are comparatively much higher than in other countries. Another report suggested that between 2017-2019, Indian investors have lost a whopping $500 million to crypto scams.