Indian authorities have arrested a 60-year-old greetings maker for duping about 45 people in investing over $350,000 in a fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme. The accused ran the operation through a designated application and promised double-digit monthly returns.
Indian Crypto Fraudster Arrested
As reported by the Times of India, the local police apprehended Umesh Verma at the Indira Gandhi International Airport upon his arrival from Dubai.
Verma had set up his own website and established a connection with an app dubbed “Pluto Exchange.” He used the two to promote and sell a new cryptocurrency called “Coin Zarus.”
The accused worked with his son Bharat Verma and others. They ran marketing campaigns suggesting that the new coin provides fixed returns of 20% to 30% per month on people’s investments.
Although this number sounds too good to be true, joint commissioner (EOW) OP Mishra said that Verma and his partners managed to dupe at least 45 businessmen from Delhi. The police report indicated that the fraudulent operation took about Rs 2.5 crore (app. $350,000).
When it came down to sending the promised returns, Verma used dried-up and post-dated checks. After they were dishonored, Verma started changing his residential addresses to avoid the victims and finally fled to Dubai.
Commissioner Mishra said that Verma had already been arrested in December 2017 in a gold smuggling case. Aside from his illicit endeavors, he was a greeting cards maker by profession.
100 BTC Kidnapping Case in India
The world’s second most-populated nation is no a stranger to fraudulent activities involving cryptocurrencies. CryptoPotato recently reported the kidnapping of an eight-year-old boy from his family house in the southwest state of Karnataka.
The perpetrators had left a ransom note demanding 100 bitcoins – worth about $2.3 million at the time. The victim’s father and grandfather were reportedly local businessmen and investors in cryptocurrencies.
The initial coverage said that the police had arrested six people in connection to the case. All of whom were related to the victim’s family.
Later on, the local authorities arrested another suspect. The police noted that he was actually the one who abducted the kid in front of his home after being recruited by the mastermind of the entire operation.