Another Indian Bitcoin Scam Mastermind Arrested after Swindling Investors
Bitcoin Scammer Tricks Investors by Throwing Lavish Parties
Three of the 16 investors who lodged a complaint with the Chandigarh Police stated that they were cheated of almost Rs15 Crore (approximately $2.1 million). Amit Bhardwaj, and his brothers Vivek Bharadwaj, Pankaj Adhlakha, and Hemant Bhope have received arrest warrants from the Tihar Jal and have been in police custody since August 23, 2018.
An anonymous investor mentioned to The Indian Express that they were invited to go to the investors’ summit located in Dubai and Macau. They received tickets and other documents. However, when it became clear that they were not earning the profits from their invested money in bitcoin, Amit and Aditya Bhardwaj reassured the group of investors that they would receive their money. In the end, the investors ended up with nothing.
Not only did the Indian investors lose out, investors from China, Vietnam, Mauritius, Dubai and other countries were also involved in the summits and ended up as victims of the fraud as well. These summits were all very high-profile and lavish with Chardway even having yachts booked for several days.
The expenses of the summits were paid from Chardway’s three companies Gain Bitcoin, GB minors, and GB 21.
Scammer Promises High Returns, Refuses to Pay
Cybercrime cell DSP Rashmi Yadav Sharma reported that the 16 investors mentioned that they purchased approximately 180 bitcoins from Chardway; however, the investors had purchased the bitcoin at different times. One investor purchased a bitcoin for Rs 40,000 (roughly $571.55) while the other bought it for Rs 1 lakh (approximately $1,427.80).
According to an internal source, “during interrogation, accused Amit Bhardwaj agreed to return the invested principal amount to two investors in the shape of Indian currency and refused to give them the amount equal to the value of Bitcoins at present. Currently, the price of one Bitcoin is around Rs 2.05 lakh. Earlier, the price of Bitcoin reached Rs 4 lakh.”
The investors were all told that they would receive a ten percent return on their investment over the next 18 months. While some investors received monetary gains, they told the police that those returns acted more as bait. Furthermore, Pankaj Adhlakha was also a motivational speaker and used his skills and experience to motivate investors into investing even more money into the scam.