NEW DELHI

Cryptocurrency con: two arrested

Deepak Jangra (in grey) and Deepak Malhotra (in black) have been booked under relevant sections of IPC and IT Act.Special Arrangement

Deepak Jangra (in grey) and Deepak Malhotra (in black) have been booked under relevant sections of IPC and IT Act.Special Arrangement  

Duo cheated people of bitcoins amounting to Rs. 14-Rs. 17 crore on pretext of giving them high returns

Two persons have been arrested for allegedly duping several people on the pretext of giving them high returns on investment in cryptocurrency, the police said on Saturday. The accused allegedly used multi-level marketing system to lure people, they added.

The accused have been identified as Deepak Jangra (37), and Deepak Malhotra (56), both residents of Haryana’s Sonepat, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Cyber Cell) Anyesh Roy said.

“After analysing the data, we suspect that they have duped people of at least 250-300 bitcoins which amounts to Rs. 14-Rs. 17 crore. The investigation is on. The amount can increase,” he said.

In March, over 20 people approached the police complaining that they were told of a lucrative investment deal in bitcoin by the accused but did not get any returns, the police said.

The police registered a case under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and IT Act.

Project floated in 2016

The investigation, Mr. Roy said, revealed that that the accused had floated the project in December 2016.

The accused created an online portal calledwww.bitmineplus.organd asked people to invest in bitcoin to get a monthly return of 12% on their investment, the police said.

Also, the duo said that the project was based in the United States.

To lure more people, they used multi-level marketing and asked the first investors to attract others in order to get 5% individual referral income.

Further, a commission of 10% was also offered to investors if they roped in more people.

The accused used to throw parties at expensive hotels to impress and gain confidence of the investors, the police added.

“We have identified at least 5,000 IDs which have been duped. For the first few months, the income came in but eventually, it stopped after which the investors started to ask questions,” Mr. Roy said.

Allegedly to buy time, the accused told the investors that they are introducing a new cryptocurrency called BMP and their investment will be transferred to the said currency.

“He promised that a new portalwww.futuretrade.orgwill be opened and they will shift the investors on the new model,” the DCP said.

During investigation, the police said, Jangra was found to be missing since February and he had not contacted any of his family members, relatives or friends.

“With the help of technical surveillance, he was apprehended on April 11 and was subject to intensive interrogation,” Mr. Roy said.

Jangra allegedly told the police that he has been involved in multi-level marketing business of various products since 2011 and got this idea fromwww.gainbitcoin.com, a portal that’s already running. “He then roped in Deepak Malhotra who’s a sales professional to attract people. The two then opened their office in Netaji Subhash Place,” Mr. Roy added.

We have identified at least 5000 IDs which have been duped. For the first few months, the income came in but eventually, it stopped after which the investors started to ask questions

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Cyber Cell)

Anyesh Roy

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