Indian Authorities Arrest Individuals Connected to a $300M Crypto Scam
- Crypto scams have surged in recent months.
- Indian authorities have yet to locate Subhash Sharma, the suspected ringleader.
- India’s position on cryptocurrencies remains unclear.
Indian police have reportedly arrested individuals, including four police officers involved in a crypto scam that defrauded almost 100,000 people. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has found that about 1,000 police officers and 5,000 government officials suffered losses in the Himachal Pradesh scam.
Although the alleged scam was discovered in late September, reports suggest it may have started as early as 2018. The scammers reportedly approached potential victims with investment schemes involving the Korvio Coin (KRO coins). The scheme later involved more cryptocurrencies used on fake sites. The scammers reportedly abandoned one of the fake projects after people had purchased the platform’s tokens.
Many have called the scam one of the most organized financial crimes in recent years in India, as it involves reputable figures such as police officers. Local reports state that the scheme involved over a thousand cops. Some were knowingly involved in the crime, while others incurred losses from investing in or promoting the fake projects.
Indian police authorities have received multiple complaints within the last two years. Furthermore, several agencies, led by the SIT, have begun investigating the scheme and have made 18 arrests so far. In October, police authorities discovered 250 identity cards connected to the suspects.
According to reports from the investigations, more than 100 people made around $240,000 from the scam, while an additional 200 made about $120,000, respectively. Interestingly, Subhash Sharma, the suspected ringleader, is still at large. However, Indian authorities have seized several properties tied to Sharma. Authorities are also searching for other individuals who may have played a role in aiding the scheme.
Deputy Chief Minister Mukesh Agnihotri warned locals of crypto investments that promise huge returns in a short while. Agnihotri said in a statement:
I am observing that complaints have been pouring in from various districts of the state wherein people have been cheated by the kingpin of cryptocurrency fraud.
The minister urged locals not to invest in the unregulated crypto market, warning that such investment leaves them vulnerable to attacks, fraud, and losses. India has an active crypto market. However, the country’s government has adopted a tough stance on digital assets. In September, an official of the Indian government said the country would announce its plans for the crypto industry in the coming months.