Kumar Vishal Vishal
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Amit Bhardwaj, the bitcoin mining operations entrepreneur, was arrested by the Pune police on Thursday from Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi. Bhardwaj, an accused of duping more than 8,000 people to a sum of Rs 2,000 crore, had escaped from Dubai Airport last week.
According to News 18, he was held at Bangkok Airport on Wednesday evening and then brought to India on Thursday.
As per the government, Bhardwaj and his associates allegedly duped various investors in Maharashtra including Mumbai, Pune, Nanded, and Kolhapur. The Delhi police reported that Bhardwaj had allegedly operated a multi-level marketing fraud by promising high returns to investors at ten percent rate, only if they give him bitcoins. Under the scheme, each contract that was signed by investors was set for a period of 18 months. However, the whole scheme later turned out to be a trap to deceive investors after which Bhardwaj fled the country.
In March, when Enforcement Directorate came to know about the scam through Ponzi schemes on the website of the Bitcoin company – GainBitcoin – they discharged a legal notice against him. Also, cases against Bitcoin MLM were filed in Pune, Nigdi and Dattawadi police stations. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Cyber and FICN) Bhisham Singh told The Indian Express, “He has set up an office in Dubai and continues with his operations. We currently do not have a single FIR against Bhardwaj in our unit. A case has been registered in Prashant Vihar.”
On Thursday, the Reserve Bank of India asked banks and other regulated entities not to assist any businesses that deal in virtual currencies. The action was taken to protect the interest of consumers and monitor money laundering.
Virtual currencies “raise concerns of consumer protection, market integrity, and money laundering, among others,” Press Trust Of India quoted the central bank.
This is not for the first time, the Centre and the RBI have warned people earlier against the virtual currencies dealings.
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