India’s Police Arrests Scammers who Stole Bitcoin from 8,000 Victims

Since it’s creation and rise to popularity, one of the largest concerns related to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is that it’s an investment fraud. All over the world, the public has been duped by evil-doers into investing or submitting large sums of money with the promise of huge profits only to be robbed of their savings and investments.

Critics across the world have blamed cryptocurrencies for how easy they make it for cons to defraud not only the general masses but also the crypto market as a whole. Lack of oversight and intangibility of crypto assets is said to be the main catalyst for this rise in cryptocurrency fraud.

The latest news regarding crypto fraud comes from Indian city Pune where the police seized 451.999 Bitcoins in ‘Dattawadi Case’. The case had been under investigation by the cyber crime branch of Pune Police Department since January 2018. Deputy commissioner of police (cyber) has said about the case, “The Bitcoins were seized from the e-wallet of Sahil Omprakash Bagla – a suspect from Delhi – after a digital forensic analysis of his account was done.” Ms. Singh gave the credit of this discovery to senior inspector Radhika Phadke and her team.

Police have filed charge sheets against the 10 persons arrested in the fraud case as reported by Indian news site TimesOfIndia.com. Those arrested include the ringleader Amit Bharadwaj and city-based techie Akash Sancheti. Police arrested Bharadwaj and his brother Vivek after they were taken to Delhi from Dubai. According to TimesOfIndia, Bharadwaj used to run a company called GainBitcoin where he lured investors by holding workshops and seminars. Bharadwaj would promise investors a 10% monthly return on investment and managed to dupe nearly 8,000 investors.

In the last few months, many victims came forward claiming to have been defrauded by Bharadwaj, his brother Sancheti and others. Incidents like this one are why cryptocurrencies continue to be criticized. Although, a lot of progress has been made in providing oversight for crypto assets as many governments around the globe have introduced laws and regulations.

These regulations basically aim to bring cryptocurrencies under the state laws and provide protection to the investors while continuing to encourage the growth of crypto markets in each country. However, more measures are required to raise awareness about the inherent fluidity of crypto assets’ value and how they can protect themselves from fraud.