12 duped of ₹1.72 cr. in Ponzi scheme

Promised good returns on ‘KBC coin’

February 26, 2019 12:50 am | Updated 12:50 am IST - Navi Mumbai

A Panvel resident has been booked for allegedly cheating 12 people of ₹1.72 crore in a Ponzi scheme involving cryptocurrency. According to Unit I of the Economic Offence Wing, Navi Mumbai Police, the accused had created a virtual company.

Nanasaheb Patil, an agriculture trader working in Sector 17, Vashi, filed a case with the Vashi police on Thursday, saying that Pritam Patil cheated him and his employees of ₹1.72 crore by promising good returns via his ‘KBC coin’ scheme.

According to Mr. Patil, in October 2017, Pritam and his friend Pintu Bajaj visited him in his office. The accused introduced himself as the technical head of ‘KBC coin’ and Mr. Bajaj as the CEO. He told Mr. Patil the rate of KBC coin was 40 paise and would rise to $1 by March 2018. He suggested that Mr. Patil arrange a meeting with his employees, where the accused could explain the scheme.

Around 12 employees showed interest in investing in the scheme. When asked to show the company’s documents, the accused told Mr. Patil that in such cases, the URL of the company serves as its documents, and that the transactions are done only in cash. Mr. Patil was told that an ID generated on paying the cash would be the receipt.

Name change

From December 2017 to April 2018, Mr. Patil and his employees paid ₹1.72 crore to the accused. Mr. Patil noticed Pritam had changed the company name to AFC Mint coin. “He told Mr. Patil that a company by the same name in Nashik had cheated people, and he had been receiving the flak and hence changed the name. By September 2018, the website had shut down. When Mr. Patil contacted the accused, he was told the company had shut and won’t be receiving the money any more,” an EOW officer said.

“Mr. Patil gave a written application to us. We found that he and his employees were cheated by the accused by creating a fake virtual company,” DCP, Crime Branch, Tushar Doshi said.

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