Indian law enforcement authorities recently started a probe into an alleged $270k cryptocurrency exchange scam. The operator of the exchange bis accused of duping 43 investors via Pluto Exchange, a Delhi-based cryptocurrency platform.
Delhi Police begins an investigation
Millennium Post, a local news outlet, reported that the Delhi Police’s Economic Offence Wing has begun an investigation against the operator of the exchange after the 43 investors filed a complaint with them. The founder of the exchange is Bharat Verma, who allegedly lured investors by claiming to be running a crypto trading and mining operation called F2poolminin.
One of the investors who filed a complaint, Joginder Kumar, said that he met Verma in Connaught Place in Delhi. He was told that the crypto scheme could offer returns of as much as 20 to 30% per month. He was also asked to bring additional people to the scheme to earn an added commission. Kumar made an initial investment of $6,500 but did not receive any returns.
He soon met Verma to discuss it and was told that the company’s bank accounts had been seized. He also blamed the falling price of Bitcoin for the nonpayment of returns to the investors.
Pluto Exchange moves to Dubai
After starting operations in Delhi, Pluto Exchange has moved to Dubai. Kumar suggests that the company had collected over $6.8 million for its cryptocurrency business. The exchange has not made any comments on the matter yet.
As the awareness for cryptocurrencies rises, the number of scams in this industry has increased as well. Indian investors have also become victims of these fraudulent schemes. According to an estimate, Indian investors lost more than $500 million between 2017 and 2019 in cryptocurrency scams operated from within and outside of the country.
India is yet to create cryptocurrency legislation that could regulate the industry. The Indian government is working on a bill to ban crypto trading and impose fines and jail sentences of people according to some inside sources.