Crypto scam: ED attaches assets worth Rs.36 cr of Kerala man
On Monday, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said in a statement that it has attached assets worth over Rs.36 crore belonging to a Kerala-based businessman named Nishad K and his aides.
Nishad K and his aides cheated 900 persons of Rs.1200 crore by luring them to invest in crypto currency promising high returns. They lured depositors in the name of launching ‘Morris Coin crypto currency‘.
The accused and his associates have been issued with a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) to attach properties that include “balances in multiple bank accounts of Nishad K and his companies, immovable property including the land of an associate close to Nishad K and Indian Rupee equivalent of cryptocurrencies purchased out of the proceeds of crime by a close associate.”
An ED official said that the attached assets include balances in multiple bank accounts of Nishad and his companies, immovable properties, including the land of an associate close to Nishad, and money equivalent to crypto currencies purchased out of the proceeds of the crime by a close aide of Nishad.
They have several FIRs registered against them by the Kerala police in various districts, including Malappuram, Kannur, and others. On the basis of these FIRs, the ED initiated a money laundering case against the accused persons.
“The money laundering investigation carried out so far revealed that Nishad through his various companies collected deposit money from the investors in the guise of initial coin offer for the launch of Morris Coin crypto currency. They impressed the investors by conducting promotional events with the presence of celebrities, and by introducing them to flashy websites with the provision of e-wallets. The amounts collected by duping the investors were siphoned through various companies operated by Nishad and his associates,” said an ED official.
The official said that the deposits taken from the general public were illegal and without any statutory permission from any regulatory agency. This was basically a ponzi scheme and the investors were lured with the promise of very high returns.
The money obtained was used for the purchase of immovable properties, various other crypto currencies, luxury cars, and for spending in luxury hotels and resorts.
“In this regard, crypto currencies such as Ethereum (5.92387265), BTC (0.08267646), BNB (5.51232875), YFI (0.023062), VET (4284.4), ADA (226.479601), and USDT (35.88576551) with a total value of Rs.25,82,794 were found and all the above crypto currencies, purchased out of the proceeds of crime, were converted into Indian rupees which have been attached by the Enforcement Directorate,” said the official.
The ED also conducted raids at 11 premises of the accused, including in Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and New Delhi, resulting in the identification of immovable and other properties worth several crores of rupees.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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