Maharashtra Crypto Scam: Two Suspects Arrested For Duping 1,400 Investors In Alleged Rs 1,000-Crore Scheme

Maharashtra Crypto Scam: Two Suspects Arrested For Duping 1,400 Investors In Alleged Rs 1,000-Crore Scheme

Cryptocurrencies are gaining traction in India as a fruitful investment option as more and more people are trading in digital coins such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others. However, with the growing popularity of crypto in India, crypto scams have also increased manifold in the past few years. It was reported on Tuesday that the Maharashtra Police arrested two suspects for allegedly running a crypto scam, duping over 1,400 investors out of between Rs 50 crores to Rs 100 crores.

On August 10, the arrests were made following raids in Thane and Powai, as per a report by CoinDesk. The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Thane Police said that the name of the two individuals are Ritesh Dilip Kumar Sikligar (alias Pancha) and Mohan Patil, an agent who brought customers from all over India into the scheme. Sikligar is believed to be the mastermind of the scam.

The two were put under custody for questioning until August 20. As per the report, they have been behind bars ever since.

An EOW officer said that while based on currently available information, the scam is worth Rs 6 crores, “we estimate the amount to be upwards of Rs 50 crore and below Rs 100 crore,” while confirming that discrepancies in the amount of money associated with “1,400 or so investors” have been uncovered.

As part of the scheme, crypto tokens dubbed ‘SMP’ and ‘Magic 3x’ were used to lure investors in, promising them huge rates of return. The investors were told that the more money they put in, the higher the rate of return expected. It should be noted that none of the two tokens are listed on any crypto exchange. 

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The duo reportedly promised customers interest rates ranging from 0.05 percent to 1 percent per day, depending on the amount put in. “If Rs 24,000 were invested, the rate of return was 0.05 percent per day, with the promise that within 20 months, that amount would triple ro around Rs 72,000,” a police officer reportedly said.

Disclaimer: Crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions. Cryptocurrency is not a legal tender and is subject to market risks. Readers are advised to seek expert advice and read offer document(s) along with related important literature on the subject carefully before making any kind of investment whatsoever. Cryptocurrency market predictions are speculative and any investment made shall be at the sole cost and risk of the readers.