Authorities in Indian are investigating a purported cryptocurrency exchange for allegedly duping 43 people into investing in the operation.
According to local news outlet Millennium Post, 43 people had filed different complaints to the Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi Police after losing funds that were invested in the fraudulent exchange.
The complainants had all invested various amounts into the ‘Pluto Exchange’ which is now under investigation by the Delhi police. The director of the exchange along with six others involved in the running of the operation are probed by police.
The inquiry into the exchange and documents submitted by the investors shows that around Rs 2 crore, which is equivalent to more than $270 000, was invested into the exchange.
Investor describes modus operandi
One of the disgruntled investors named Joginder Kumar told police that he had been lured into investing into the cryptocurrency-focused business. The suspect allegedly claimed to have launched his own cryptocurrency and was looking for investors.
Delhi police are understood to have been told that the suspect had promised Kumar fixed monthly returns of more than 20 percent on his investments.
“The suspect told me he is doing business of crypto trading and crypto mining through his mining company F2poolminin and told me that if he brought more clients to his company he would give me a commission,” Kumar was quoted by the local news outlet.
Kumar allegedly invested RS 5 lakh, worth around $6800, into the exchange but ran into a troubling scenario the first month that he was due to receive interest on his investment.
“I met one Bharat Verma (company official). He told me due to down rates of bitcoin and due to seized accounts, they are unable to give me return through the bank so he told me to wait for a few more months,” Kumar said.
After a few months Kumar still had not received any payment following his investment. The investor went to confront the suspect that had initially propositioned the investment scheme, but found that the offices had been relocated from India to Dubai.
“I found that lots of people like me who invested their money in the company. The director collected approximately Rs 50 crore in the name of the cryptocurrency business,” Kumar added.
Pluto Exchange grabbed headlines back in 2017 as it announced what was said to be India’s first app-based cryptocurrency wallet. As per Kumar’s claims, the company’s director had collected around $6.8mln through from defrauded investors.