Indian Police Uncover Cryptocurrency Scam Involving BitConnect Promoter
Indian police have discovered an alleged multi-million dollar cryptocurrency scam involving a BitConnect promoter.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Gujarat, India, has accused Divyesh Darji — a promoter of now-defunct cryptocurrency investment program BitConnect that ceased its operations in January of last year — of luring people to invest into “Regal Coin,” promising unrealistic returns of as high as 5,000% on investment. A CID official said that the estimated amount of the scam reaches into the tens of millions of rupees.
Per the CID, Darji began offering the investment scheme back in 2017, asking potential investors to buy the coin with an investment of $2 to get $100 on each Regal Coin. A CID official said that “Darji had promised that the investor would get the principal amount in 99 days. He had also promised to give interest on principal amount as per robotic trading profit along with 1% to 1.6% bonus as referral bonus at every 11 days.”
The scam was discovered after a Surat resident, Vishal Savalia approached the CID saying that he had lost around $26,783 in the Regal Coin scam. A CID official further explained that “Savalia had allegedly given the money to Darji’s daughter, Dimki through another accused and Darji’s aide, Ramdayal Purohit and Dimki herself had downloaded Regal Coin app in Savalia’s cellphone and get him registered on its website.”
According to the police, only Purohit is presently under arrest, while Darji was released on bail a month ago and is on the lam. This is reportedly the third case involving Darji.
At the end of August 2018, Indian police arrested Darji for allegedly promoting BitConnect and scamming investors. Darji reportedly said that he had been the India head of BitConnect. The CID claims that staff at the BitCoinnect office in Surat admitted that promoters had amassed “crores of rupees from thousands of investors.”
In February of this year, India’s Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the cyber forensic lab and Cyber Protection Awareness and Detection Centre, with a special unit focused on cryptocurrency.