Pune – The Pune city police on Monday submitted chargesheet against nine persons including Amit Bhardwaj, the mastermind of India’s most infamous cryptocurrency-based Ponzi schemes run under the names GainBitcoin, GBMiners and GB21.
The 4,000 pages chargesheet was filed in the court of special judge R N Sardesai at the Pune district court. Till now 227 persons have approached Pune police. Two FIRs have been registered with Dattawadi and Nigdi police stations. Police said these persons have been cheated of 1750 Bitcoins (approx Rs 87 crores). Police have seized 206 Bitcoins, 79.999 Etherium and Rs 38.96 lakhs cash from the accused persons.
Accused persons
The chargesheet has been filed against architect Kajal Jitendra Singvi (25) of Mahrishiniagar, businessman Vyas Narhari Sapa (46) from Bhavani Peth, Amit Mahendrakumar Bhardwaj (35), Vivek Kumar Mahendrakumar Bhardwaj (31), Sahil Shriomprakash Bagal (28), Nikunj Virendrakumar Jain (29), all residents of New Delhi, Hemant Chandrakant Bhope (46), Hemant Vishwas Suryawanshi (51) of Baner, Pankaj Adlakha (40) of New Delhi.
They have been accused of offences under sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating), 409, 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code;and relevant sections of the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (MPID) Act, Information Technology Act, and Price Chit Fund and Money Circulation Act.
Amit Bhardwaj was caught in Bagkok and brought to Delhi on April 5. He was arrested by Pune police and investigation was done under supervision of IPS officer DCP Sudhir Hiremath.
According to police, Bhardwaj duped people through cryptocurrency schemes by promising double money in under two years. As people started complaining about undelivered returns in 2017, Bhardwaj and his team launched an in-house crypto token called MCAP with predictions that its price would grow 20-fold. However, when people again started complaining , Bhardwaj fled to Dubai last year.
The chargesheet reveals that Bhardwaj, his father and brother hold directorship of at least seven companies, including Nexgen Facility Management Pvt Ltd, Miners India Technology Pvt Ltd, Norton Sales Pvt Ltd, Radox Infotech Pvt Ltd, Hans Clouding IT LLP, Sabtechs Services India Pvt Ltd, and Grand Wedding Solutions Ltd.
Properties purchased across the globe
With the money he amassed through the GBMiners scheme, Bhardwaj bought multiple office properties in Dubai including at premium locations such as Jumeirah Tower (seven offices worth Rs 17 crores) and Burj Khalifa (flat worth Rs 5.1 crores).
According to the report, the Pune Cyber Police team have uncovered a string of companies that Bhardwaj has registered across the globe including in Singapore, Hong Kong, British Virgin Islands, Estonia, Dubai and US, where Bhardwaj and brothers Vivek and Ajay and father Mahendra Kumar hold directorship. Bhardwaj has also been found to have bank accounts in Dubai-based Noor Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, and Emirates NBD Bank.