October 3, Shimla


Since 2018, when the cryptocurrency craze peaked, police have not yet managed to apprehend the cryptocurrency fraud mastermind who may have defrauded thousands of victims throughout Himachal Pradesh out of more than Rs 200 crore.

The gang built an investor network by alluring people with the promise of quick and big profits on cryptocurrency investments.

The first investors were then used as bait to draw in other participants in a ponzi scheme.

Independent MLA Hoshyar Singh brought up the issue in the Vidhan Sabha and estimated that over Rs 200 crore had been stolen from residents in Kangra and Hamirpur alone.

Following Singh’s address to the assembly, a special inquiry team was established to look into the situation.

Abhishek Dhullar, the SIT’s leader and the deputy inspector general of police for the northern range, told PTI on Monday that the precise amount of fraud is yet unknown. He claimed that the scam artists kept control of their operation using a combination of false information, trickery, and intimidation and persisted in extorting money from gullible investors by changing the pricing of their coins.

“Korvio Coin,” also known as KRO coins, was the first coin they released.

They demanded a one-time activation fee from the buyers and guaranteed them high returns. The scammers employed three to four cryptocurrencies throughout a five-year period.

Cryptocurrency is a type of digital money that operates as a means of exchange through a blockchain-based computer network and is not supported or maintained by any central authority, such as a bank or government.

The investors were encouraged to recruit new participants into the scheme after their accounts were authorised, according to the authorities.

The thieves employed a Ponzi scheme design, a sort of investment fraud in which rewards are provided to previous investors from the cash contributed by new investors rather than from any actual earnings.

Investors were urged to continue bringing on new members, which sparked a cycle in which proceeds from fresh investments were utilised to pay returns to initial investors. These original investors received enormous returns and developed into the scheme’s brand champions.

To list their coins and influence their pricing, the con artists created bogus websites.

Later, they introduced a new coin known as “DGT Coin.” When enough people bought these coins at the higher price, the price was purposefully lowered, resulting in a significant rugpull.

Under several corporate names, including “Hypenext” and “Aglobal,” the accused presented new coins and investment ideas. According to police, each time a new currency was released, it was promoted as another investment opportunity.

50 complaints regarding these frauds were made to the police this year alone, according to the police.

Police discovered that these frauds shared a common modus operandi and names during their investigation, according to SP Cyber Crime Rohit Malpani.

Since then, five persons have been detained, charged with similar crimes, and eight FIRs have been filed, according to the police.

According to Director General of Police Sanjay Kundu, “We are close to apprehending the kingpins of cryptocurrency scams in Himachal Pradesh. We have mapped their assets and are conducting financial investigations.”

“Don’t fall for the cryptocurrency fraudsters,” he advised the public.

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