Pune kingpin behind Kalyan cryptocurrency scam: Thane police
Police were investigating the complaint of a 45-year-old man who was approached by Gain Bitcoin — Bhardwaj’s company — last year and lured into investing a lot of money in one of their schemesUpdated: Jun 18, 2018 00:50 IST
More than a month after Amit Bhardwaj, the kingpin of the ₹2000-crore cryptocurrency scam, was arrested by the Pune police, a unit of the Thane crime branch has found that it was the same person’s company that was running a similar racket in Kalyan for a year.
A police officer from the Thane commissionerate, requesting anonymity, said they were investigating into this matter based on the complaint of a 45-year-old man, Raghuveer Kulkarni, who was approached by Gain Bitcoin — Bhardwaj’s company — last year and lured into investing a lot of money in one of their schemes. “Gain Bitcoin was running at Yogidh in Kalyan too. We found that the main accused, Amit Bhardwaj, has already been arrested. We have alerted Pune police about it,” the officer said.
“Kulkarni invested ₹22.5 lakh (with Gain Bitcoin). When the company shut down a few months ago, the owners and other employees switched off their mobiles, just like they did to investors in Pune,” the officer said.
The Thane police said there were more people apart from Kulkarni who were also cheated in Kalyan.
Earlier this month, the Thane crime branch busted a similar cryptocurrency racket which had cheated more than 25,000 investors of more than ₹500 crore. The mastermind behind this scheme, Amit Lakhanpal, is said to be hiding in Dubai.
It was in 2017 when Lakhanpal launched his own fake cryptocurrency company, distributing 120 digital coins to investors after giving them fake promises. In connection with this case, the Thane police said they arrested one suspect. “We have arrested a Mumbra resident, Taha Kazi, 26-years-old, who was appointed as technical head and later made director (of Lakhanpal’s company),” said another officer from the Thane commissionerate.
Police also seized 68 bottles of foreign liquor from Lakhanpal’s home in Navi Mumbai, besides three high-end vehicles and ₹3 lakh in cash.