In a startling turn of events, eighteen individuals have been apprehended in Himachal Pradesh in connection with a multi-crore cryptocurrency fraud. The arrest sheds light on the enlarged prevalence of fraudulent activities in the digital world and serves as a reminder to exercise caution while engaging in cryptocurrency transactions.
The Scam and the Arrests
The Himachal Pradesh Police started their apprehension of two individuals, identified as Hemraj Thakur and Sukhdev, who allegedly operated a cryptocurrency scam network. The duo was involved in luring innocent individuals by promising exorbitant returns on their investments in various cryptocurrencies. The victims were enticed to invest large sums of money in these fake ventures, hoping for significant profits that never materialized. Indulging in a deceptive dance of digital deception, the defendant shamelessly championed a fraudulent form of crypto-currency famously known as ‘Korvio Coin’.
Their audaciously cunning ploy involved persuading investors with dreams of sky-high profits, all while ingeniously manipulating the cryptocurrency market in their favor. Alas, a calamitous outcome awaited these unsuspecting investors, as their hard-earned funds swiftly evaporated into thin air. In a fast response by the Himachal Pradesh Police, the dynamic duo of Hemraj Thakur and Sukhdev found themselves in hot water after their grand adventure in Gujarat, ultimately leading to their capture. These two miscreants were part of an investigation into a mind-boggling cryptocurrency scam worth crores, finally caught in the act by our relentless authorities.
According to the authorities, these sneaky tricksters shamelessly pushed around a phony digital currency dubbed ‘Korvio Coin’. These crafty characters enticed innocent investors, whispering sweet nothings about dazzling profits, all the while slyly pulling the strings on cryptocurrency values to line their own pockets. As a result, hapless investors were left reeling with massive losses.
Hemraj Thakur, the cunning brainiac behind it all, has finally been unmasked by the authorities. Not content with just that, the detectives have also revealed a whole list of accomplices involved in the case, extending far beyond the two unfortunate souls who now find themselves in custody.
Subhash Sharma, an ingenious coder, has yet to be captured even though he played a crucial role in this intricate endeavor.
Through some brilliant detective work, the police discovered a cunning scheme where the accused cleverly concealed their wealth by camouflaging it under disguise. One brilliant tactic they employed was cleverly registering properties under the names of their relatives who happened to own travel agencies.
The cunning con had swindled innocent souls, leaving them heartbroken and their pockets lighter with a mind-boggling sum of over Rs 18 crore vanished into thin air.
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has taken charge of ten utterly mind-boggling cases that are sending shockwaves through the entire system. Brace yourself, because this team is currently diving deep into over 50 jaw-dropping complaints that are being relentlessly investigated.
In regard to the ongoing case, Kundu stated that “the investigation is progressing towards apprehending the key perpetrators of cryptocurrency scams within the state. A comprehensive effort is being made to capture the suspects, which includes thorough asset tracking and conducting financial inquiries into their holdings. It is strongly advised that individuals exercise caution and avoid falling victim to fraudsters involved in cryptocurrency scams.”
Behold, the SIT hath embarked upon a quest to unravel the wicked web of ill-gotten riches possessed by those rogues, thereby unmasking the true magnitude of their felonious domain. Lo and behold, this grand pyramid scheme verily stretches its deceitful tendrils across many districts, from the mighty Mandi to the enchanting Kullu, from Bilaspur to Hamirpur, and not forgetting Una! It is whispered among the people that this devious scheme has snared a sum exceeding a whopping ($ 48, 019, 680.00 USD)!
During the wild and stormy monsoon session of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly, a mind-boggling scam came forth, resulting in the birth of a mighty 13-member Special Investigating Team (SIT).
Investigation and Modus Operandi of The (SIT) that Led To More Arrest
Following the arrest of the first duo and the numerous complaints from investors, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) started their investigation into the scam. The exploration uncovered a highly organized operation that exploited the lack of awareness and regulation surrounding cryptocurrency investments.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) has conducted raids on the residences of 25 individuals suspected of engaging in fraudulent activities related to cryptocurrency investments in Hamirpur.
The police officers who have been arrested have been identified as Naresh Kumar, Hamirpur district; Jyoti, a female constable, Barsar Tehsil, Hamirpur district; Balbir Singh from Chhatrayana village in Sarkaghat Tehsil, Mandi district; and Sunil Kumar Chandrani from Kalbari, Bijhari, Hamirpur. The other accused individuals who have been apprehended include Ram Kumar Rana, a forest guard from Sujanpur Tihra, Hamirpur district; Krishan Dutt from Mohin village in Hamirpur Tehsil; Neel Dheeman from Kharuni village in Nalagarh sub-division, Solan district; and Gurdeep from Baddi Tehsil.
The SIT have successfully retrieved the entirety of the website housing the comprehensive list of individuals who had invested in cryptocurrency. It has been discovered that certain individuals even left their employment to assume the role of agents, endeavoring to generate profits by encouraging others to invest in cryptocurrency.
Among the investors, it is worth noting that individuals from the districts of Hamirpur and Mandi in Himachal Pradesh made the maximum investments, while residents of Haryana and Punjab also entered the realm of digital currency investment. An investigation by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) is currently underway to ascertain the channels through which the invested funds were redirected. Furthermore, a substantial number of 80 mobile phones have been confiscated thus far.
To date, it has been discovered that in addition to individuals who received compensation for their land acquisition due to the construction of four-lane projects and national highways, a significant number of government employees, including Himachal Pradesh police personnel, have made substantial investments. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) painstakingly reconstructed the website implicated in the cryptocurrency fraud, revealing nearly 250,000 distinct user IDs. Thus far, they have successfully confiscated assets totaling Rs 8.5 crore from multiple locations in Himachal and Zirakpur.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) has recently unearthed the presence of five shell companies founded by Subhash Sharma, a high-profile fugitive. These companies, namely Soymans India Pvt Ltd, UBB Associates LLP, UBB Records LLP, Subro Technologies Pvt Ltd, and Him Jan Sewa Foundation, were properly registered with the Registrars of Companies (ROC) in Chandigarh, Delhi, and Himachal Pradesh. It is presently presumed that Sharma successfully absconded to Dubai earlier this year.
Soymans India Pvt Ltd, situated in Zirakpur, Mohali, primarily dealt with food products; Subro Technologies Pvt Ltd, located in Sector 20, Panchkula, was engaged in the creation of multimedia websites; UBB Associates, based in Royal Estate, Zirakpur, primarily focused on construction business; Him Jan Sewa Foundation, operating in Mandi, devoted its activities to social welfare; and UBB Records LLP, located in Juneja Square, Zirakpur, specialized in retail trade and repair of personal and household goods.
The five companies were established within the period from February 2020 to May 2021, and had Subhash Sharma and other individuals implicated in their director positions. Our Special Investigation Team (SIT), led by DIG Abhishek Dular, successfully accessed the necessary documents from the Registrar of Companies (ROC) offices, where we discovered numerous financial transactions originating from these companies between 2020 and 2022. A comprehensive evaluation of the evidence led to the arrest of multiple individuals, including Hemraj Thakur, Sukhdev Thakur, Amit Pardeep Singh, Radhika Sharma, and an additional 15 individuals, which comprised four officers from the Himachal Pradesh police force.
A total of nineteen suspects, including four members of the Himachal Police, have been apprehended.
Authorities Estimate Losses in Crores
The inspection carried out has evaluated the Scam in Himachal Pradesh to have caused losses amounting to $300 million USD. As of the time of writing this article, investigations are still on to identify other potential culprits involved in the scheme.
The Dangers of Cryptocurrency Scams
The Himachal Pradesh case has once again drawn attention to the risks involved with investing in cryptocurrency. The need to conduct thorough research before investing with any funds should be a must. Cryptocurrency scams and fraudulent schemes have become embarrassingly common in the crypto realm, with fraudsters applying the hidden and complex nature of cryptocurrencies to their advantage.
Government Measures and Awareness Campaigns
Cryptocurrency fraud has come under inspections in recent years, the governments around the world over time implement stricter regulations and invest in awareness campaigns to discourage fraudulent activities. Authorities have encouraged individuals to stay vigilant, educate themselves about cryptocurrencies and their associated risks, and verify the legitimacy of online investments before committing any funds.
The arrest of eighteen individuals involved in a multi-crore cryptocurrency scam in Himachal Pradesh serves as a grim reminder of the prevalence of fraudulent activities in the digital world. This incident highlights the importance of caution, skepticism, and thorough research when engaging in cryptocurrency investments.
As technology continues to advance, it is essential for individuals to stay informed and exercise diligence to protect themselves from falling victim to scams and fraudulent schemes. By increasing awareness and implementing stricter regulations, we can collectively fight cryptocurrency fraud and create a safer environment for digital investments.
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