ED provisionally attaches Raj Kundra's assets worth ₹97.79 cr in Bitcoin ponzi scheme case | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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ED provisionally attaches Raj Kundra's assets worth 97.79 cr in Bitcoin ponzi scheme case

Apr 18, 2024 01:05 PM IST

The properties include a residential flat in Juhu presently in the name of Shilpa Shetty, a residential bungalow in Pune and equity shares in Raj Kundra's name.

The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday said that it has attached provisionally assets worth 97.79 crore of businessman Raj Kundra in its money-laundering probe related to the alleged 6,600 crore Bitcoin-based ponzi scam perpetrated by a Singapore-based firm Variable Tech Private Limited.

Businessman Raj Kundra.(Raju Shinde/HT)
Businessman Raj Kundra.(Raju Shinde/HT)

Kundra, husband of Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty, is suspected of being a beneficiary of the case's proceeds of crime, according to ED sources.

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The attached properties include a residential flat situated in Juhu presently in the name of Shilpa Shetty, a residential bungalow situated in Pune and equity shares in the name of Raj Kundra.

The Enforcement Directorate alleges that Variable Tech collected 80,000 bitcoins from gullible investors across the country by promising high returns, and funds worth 6,606 crore were diverted through the nine firms for purchasing properties abroad.

“The collected Bitcoins were supposed to be utilized for Bitcoin mining and investors were supposed to get huge returns in Crypto assets. But the promoters cheated the investors and have been concealing the ill-gotten Bitcoins in obscure online wallets,” the agency said.

It added that Raj Kundra received 285 Bitcoins from the “mastermind” and promoter of the scam, Amit Bhardwaj, for setting up a Bitcoin mining farm in Ukraine.

“The said Bitcoins were sourced out of proceeds of crime collected by Amit Bhardwaj from gullible investors. Since the deal didn’t materialise, Kundra is still in possession and enjoyment of 285 Bitcoins which are presently valued at more than Rs. 150 Crore,” the ED said.

The main accused in the case – Ajay Bhardwaj and Mahendra Bhardwaj – are still absconding.

The ED had initiated an investigation into the ponzi scheme in 2018, on the basis of multiple cases registered by Maharashtra and Delhi police against Variable Tech and several other agents.

In January, the agency arrested Delhi-based businessman Nikhil Mahajan in connection with the case. Mahajan allegedly helped the accused in propagating and promoting the alleged scam by conducting seminars in Dubai to attract investors and allegedly received 40 bitcoins.

As per current rates, a bitcoin can cost around 51 lakh. Bitcoins are not legal tender.

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