Indian Police Bust Massive Crypto-based Ponzi Scheme
The Ponzi consisted of several programs by a dr. Amit Lakhanpal, CEO of the Money Trade Coin Group and CMD of the Flintstone Group. Officials said that Lakhanpal had created a cryptocurrency called the Money Trade Coin (MTC), which he heavily marketed to the broader Indian community in order to lure investors into other speculative deals. An office in Orion Business Park owned by the Flintstone Group real estate development agency is said to be “at the center of fraud” with its staff orchestrating the majority of these fraudulent scams; The unsuspecting investors “ten to twenty times in just four to six months,” reports Times Of India. It was also claimed that some investors were even promised Caribbean citizenship, real estate and Swiss bank accounts in exchange for their investment.
It is estimated that the estimated amount of money earned by this overall Ponzi system is approximately 500 crore, which equates to $ 6,699,450,000.
During the bust, the Thane police arrested and arrested Taha Kazi, one of the key flanking technicians, but is still looking for Lakhanpal and four other key figures of the fraud.
The Ponzi was investigated by local authorities following a complaint from Delhi’s Managing Director Pravin Agarwal after receiving no payouts from the company. Deputy Chief of Police Abhishek Trimukhe said:
“We recorded the crime at Chitalsar Police Station, where the defendants traded a cryptocurrency coin, and deceived several people.”
Since then, the police have now officially issued a “case of fraud, criminal violations, forgeries and other relevant areas of the IPC, in addition to the Maharashtra Law for the Protection of Interested Investors, 1999, and also under the Information Technology Act”.
While it is still unknown how far this Ponzi system affected the area, the police report that a second raid will take place in another office in Kailas Industrial Park, Vikhroli.
After this bankruptcy, many now believe that this scam is part of a much larger Ponzi operating out of Dubai. It has recently been reported that Lakhanpal has already partnered with His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Obaid Al Maktoum’s Cabinet to form “Al Kasir Group,” a new Dubai-based Diamond-backed crypto startup. It aims to create blockchain assets that are deposited with gems and can be traded through an in-house exchange. It is disturbing that Al Kasir Group has already launched its “Pre Initial Blockchain Asset Offering” through the Al Kasir Group portal, which is attracting investment. Whether the claims that this is in fact the mother Ponzi to the youngest thugs, remains to be seen.
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