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GainBitcoin case: Pune police files 4,000-page charge sheet against nine

The charge sheet in the matter states that the accused used the money gained through the fraud to buy property and holdings worth thousands of crores in places like the Burj Khalifa.

pune Updated: Jun 12, 2018 16:46 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
GainBitcoin,bitcoin,fraud
The nine accused duped 227 people - 57 from Dattawadi and 170 from Nigdi - of a total of 1,750 bitcoins.(AFP)

A 4,000 page charge sheet in the GainBitcoin case was filed against nine people by the city police on Monday. The nine people include Amit Mahendrakumar Bhardwaj, 35; Vivekumar Mahendrakumar Bhardwaj, 31; Kajal Jitendra Shingavi, 25; Vyas Narhari Sapa, 46; Sahil Shriomprakash Bagla; Nikunj Virendrakumar Jain, 29; Hemant Chandrakant Bhope, 46; Hemant Vushwas Suryavanshi, 52; and Pankaj Shrinandkishor Adlakha, 40; according to a statement issued by Sudhir Hiremath, deputy commissioner of police, cyber crime and economic offence wing, Pune.

The charge sheet in the matter states that the accused used the money gained through the fraud to buy property and holdings worth thousands of crores in places like the Burj Khalifa. The police have seized 206 bitcoins and 79.999 ethereums, collectively worth Rs 38,96,000. The nine accused duped 227 people - 57 from Dattawadi and 170 from Nigdi - of a total of 1,750 bitcoins. The charge-sheet against the nine was filed under Sections 420, 406, 409, 120(b), 201, 109, 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) along with Sections 3 and 4 of Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (MPID) Act and Section 66(d) of Information Technology Act.

The police have identified various companies and properties bought using the money by the Bhardwaj brother and the other accused. The properties include seven offices in Jumera Lake Towers worth Rs 17 crore, a flat in Marine Princess Tower worth Rs 2.12 crore, four offices in Business bay of Tamani Tower worth Rs 3.40 crore, and a flat in Burj Khalifa worth Rs 5.10 crore.

The cyber crime cell of Pune police had formed a special investigation team (SIT) of two inspectors, three assistant police inspectors, three police sub inspector, ten employees and a cyber expert. The SIT members had arrested the nine people from various parts of the country.

In 2013, they Amit and Ajay started a company called Varibale Tech PTE in Singapore. In 2015, they bought a website called gainbitcoin.com. under the banner of Varibale Tech PTE, to invite investment through bitcoin, which is a legally accepted cryptocurrency in Singapore. Upon investment, the investors were led to believe that the company was an established organisation.

Investors were lured in with promises of BMW cars, a trip to Dubai and bitcoin returns, according to the police.

They were led to believe that they received returns in cryptocurrency and were advised to not encash it as the prices of the cryptocurrency were skyrocketing. The brothers then lured the people into another cryptocurrency called mcap. When a few investors complained to the police, the Bhardwaj brother got rid of gainbitcoin.com and effectively destroyed evidence. they started another website called GB21 to simulate the existence of the company.

First Published: Jun 12, 2018 16:35 IST