Police in the west Indian city of Surat has arrested a local resident on suspicion of stealing tens of millions of rupees from Indian investors after tricking them into investing Bitcoin in a suspected Ponzi scheme called BitConnect. Divyesh Darji (Asia head) has been arrested by Gujarat CID from Delhi airport, as he arrived from Dubai.
Darji is the Asia head of Ponzi scheme Bitconnect, registered in the UK and being operated from Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai. Darji and his conspirators allegedly stole millions of dollars from Indian investors interested in the infamous Bitconnect scam.
Most of the promoters of this scheme fled abroad after Gujarat CID started the investigation. Many high-profile names, including former BJP MLA Nalin Kotadiya, are accused in this scam along with Mahendra Chaudhari and Satish Kumbhani.
“The company came into existence in 2016, and in 2017, it launched the BitConnect coin. It remained active till January this year. It released 2.80 crore coins, out of which 1.80 crore coins were sold to investors,” Narwade said.
The accused reportedly held seminars, events in India and other countries promising high-interest, daily interest rate of 1 percent. Besides, it promised to double investors money in 100 days in exchange for Bitcoin.
The alleged scam came to light after Surat-based builder Shailesh Bhatt alleged that some policemen from Amreli district kidnapped him and his business partner and extorted cryptocurrency or Bitcoins worth Rs 9 crore from them.
Bhatt himself was later booked for allegedly extorting cryptocurrency and cash worth over Rs 155 crore at gunpoint from two men who worked for Satish Kumbhani, one of the promoters of BitConnect.