Indian man cheats over 900 people with fake cryptocurrency, gets 12 billion rupees

Time:2022-01-06 Source: 4777 views Trending Copy share

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), India’s financial investigation agency, said on the 6th that at least 900 people had paid for a non-existent cryptocurrency “Morris Coin,” according to a report from the Russian Satellite News Agency on the 6th. The so-called "initial coin offering" campaign (ICO, similar to the concept of an initial public offering on the stock market).

The investigation agency estimated that the scam, run by Nishad, a 31-year-old man from Kerala state, involved more than 12 billion Indian rupees (about 1.03 billion yuan) in illegal income.

Nishad reportedly set up a shell company in 2020, when India was in the midst of its first Covid-19 lockdown. Victims paid for the so-called "Morris Coin" and were told that the virtual coin was listed on a cryptocurrency exchange called Franc Exchange in Coimbatore, and that once the currency was launched on domestic or international trading platforms, They will earn three times their original investment.

Indian man scams over 900 people with fake cryptocurrency, gets Rs 1,200 crore

"Morris Coin" false advertising, claiming that 10 Morris coins have a maximum investment return of 90,000 rupees in 300 days

An ED official told The Indian Express, “10 Morris coins cost INR 15,000 ($201) with a 300-day lock-up period. These coins are fake. The founders of the cryptocurrency siphoned the money and raised funds illegally. The proceeds were used to purchase real estate, especially real estate, in the Indian states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, but no source of income was registered.”

According to the report, in November last year, Kerala police received multiple complaints of deception and fraud, with all victims being scammed by a company called Longrich Technologies.

During this time, the man was also accused of running a Ponzi scheme. Many victims turned to police for help after the company stopped transferring promised returns. Police are aware that the company has defrauded individuals in various Indian states including Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Indian man scams over 900 people with fake cryptocurrency, gets Rs 1,200 crore

"Morriscoin" website login page

The ED has identified 31-year-old Nishad as the main culprit in the zha scam, from Malappuram, Kerala state in southern India. Last year, Kannur and Malapuram district police registered several cases against Nishad and other participants under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code (Deception) and the Prize and Monetary Circulation Schemes (Prohibition) Act. ED took over an alleged money laundering case.

Those behind the scam, including Nishad, have no financial background or educational qualifications, the sources said, but declined to name the other suspects. The source also said, “They have shell companies in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. They are pretenders, boasting that they are connected to celebrities from all walks of life and through promotions Attracts gullible investors who don’t have any financial backing. As our investigation is ongoing, no more information can be revealed about those associated with the cryptocurrency zha scam at this stage.”

The report pointed out that Nishad has left India after being granted bail by the Kerala High Court.

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