India: $13 million cryptocurrency scam busted in Mumbai; fuels government’s fear in cryptocurrencies

The Indian subcontinent is one of the major economies in the world that hasn’t implemented or legalized any form of cryptocurrency payments yet. Adding to the government’s disbelief in cryptocurrencies, the Mumbai Crime branch has managed to bust a gang which allegedly orchestrated a 100-crore [$13 million] cryptocurrency fraud over multiple states.

According to the Times of India, the accused individuals cheated several people across the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh. The gang in question fraudulently launched a scam coin known as Cashcoin and promised investors a double return on their investments by advertising it as a coin similar to Bitcoin.

Sunil Jadhav, one of the key police inspectors who cracked the bust, stated:

“The accused held meetings in Mumbai, Surat and other parts of Gujarat, and lured people into investing their hard-earned money by promising to double it in two months. Initially, the gang repaid a few investors to lure more people in and then defaulted. Their intention was to cheat.”

The initial complaint was registered by Umeshchand Jain, a resident of Surat, who accused the felons of duping him of Rs 1.2 crore.

The police reported that the complainant’s money was transferred from his bank in Surat to a bank account in Uttar Pradesh after the accused had siphoned the capital. The police have been freezing several accounts since then in different parts of the country.

Ajay Dubey, the advocate of the accused, has however denied his clients’ guilt and said:

“My clients are innocent and have been wrongly arrested. Indian Penal Code sections 419, 420, 406 and 409 are not applicable in this case as no one has been cheated since all transactions are in cheque payment.”

The Indian government had already raised concern over the subject and had consistently held that it is not comfortable with virtual currencies. However, there has been a common consensus amongst the government, Twitterati, and enthusiasts to push forward and promote blockchain technology.

Economic Affairs Secretary of India, Subhash Chandra Garg, who also led the committee that looked into the possibility of a legal framework for cryptocurrencies, is believed to be unsure of the repercussions cryptocurrencies could have on the fiat currency [INR] of the country if it is legitimized payments across the subcontinent.

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