The Indian authorities have uncovered another vast cryptocurrency scam, this time run from the city of Surat in North India. The region has been a hot-spot for crypto-related scams, with over six other such fraudulent schemes having been busted in just the past two years.
Four people have been arrested in association with the latest scam. Two more individuals are thought to have headed the scam, both of whom were yet to be seized by the authorities.
The fraudsters had launched a fake crypto token half a year ago, labeled the ‘KBC coin.’ They had attracted countless investors with a promise of real market rewards.
The original value of the KBC coin was touted as a mere ten paise, giving investors a promise of optimal growth. However, the coin’s projected growth never happened, and instead, the scammer took the investors’ cash and vanished without a trace.
Rajesh Maniya, a resident of Surat, had poured more than one crore, the equivalent of about two hundred thousand US dollars ($200,000) into the scam, before raising a complaint to the police when the individuals running the enterprise had vanished.
The fraudulent operation was also marketed from an office in Mumbai, together with a slick looking website that the fraudsters had helped design. They had also leveraged the influence of social media to promote their enterprise and to create an illusion of corporate legitimacy.
Over the past two years, countless similar frauds involving crypto laundering schemes have been launched out of the same region, including BS coin, Torus coin, and the Regal coin.
A senior official involved in the bust compared to these scams to stock market scams that are also operated out of the infamously corrupt country.
The only difference, according to him, was that instead of money being poured into imaginary stocks, in the more recent laundering schemes, money is poured into imaginary cryptocurrencies.