The collapse of BitConnect sent shockwaves all over the world of the blockchain. The major company ended up being a complex Ponzi scheme that took millions from investors and participants all over the world. The takedown of the BitConnect company sent its top executives into hiding all around the world, and until now very little progress has been made in legal action against those who led the massive scam.
The arrest of Indian building mogul Shailesh Bhatt led to a series of disputes that may in fact reveal one of the heads behind the Ponzi scheme that rocked the cryptocurrency community. Following a complaint filed months ago by Bhatt alleged that he was kidnapped and extorted by Amreli police.
director general of police (CID) Ashish Bhatia said, “Around two years back, one Satish Kumbhani of Surat floated a company called Bit Connect and lured people like Bhatt to invest in it to get huge returns. Bhatt had invested Rs 2 crore in it. However, its promoters shut shop in January this year and went underground.”
Bhatt had been a victim of the scam, losing $293,000 USD when the company’s executives pulled out of the project, allowing prices of shares to plummet and profiting greatly. When the scam occurred, Bhatt arranged for the kidnapping of Piysh Savalia, who, while held at gunpoint, sent his men to another businessman by the name of Dhaval Mavani.
Mavani, held once again at gunpoint, was forced to transfer 2,256 Bitcoin to a wallet owned by Bhatt. $2.1 million USD was also taken from Mavani before his henchmen let the man go after three days held hostage.
The distorted individuals who were extorted by Bhatt have been connected by numerous sources to the BitConnect scam. Bhatt himself was kidnapped and arrested by police after he voluntarily filed a complaint alleging that the police had illegally kidnapped and extorted him.
The ongoing investigation of this particular scandal has led to Indian investigative authorities to ascertain the identities of several of the criminal’s known associates. While the identity of several of his accomplices still remains unknown, Kirit Paladia was arrested by CID.
Indian authorities are also working to figure out the whereabouts of Satish Kumbhani, self-proclaimed “Asian Leader” of BitConnect. Local news reports are dubbing him the founder of the organization, as well as the ringleader of the illicit operations which characterized its very public implosion.
Additionally, the investigation has led authorities to look into the background of Nalin Kotadiya, an Indian politician who had allegedly called for the kidnapping and extortion of Bhatt. An arrest warrant has been issued against the public figure. With this in mind, it may be easy to see why Bhatt, clearly a criminal, was willing to put himself in the spotlight by filing a complaint to the very regulatory organization which could place him under criminal investigation.
The future of the investigation is still up in the air. Thus far, discoveries have revealed a wide range of scandals; a BitConnect network of executives and scammers, a corrupt politician, and a ring of extortion crimes committed by one of the victims of the BitConnect Ponzi scheme.
Moving forward, the investigation promises to lead Indian authorities down a rabbit-hole of leads which could eventually call for the unmaking of the scammers behind this latest Bitcoin scandal.