The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has come to Surat to interrogate Satish Kumbhani, the man behind the Bitconnect scam. The interrogations were regarding the crimes committed in the US through his fake crypto platform.
Kumbhani was apprehended in June by the Crime Investigation Department (CID) of the Surat division. The criminal’s property was seized by authorities, along with those of his partner in crime Divyesh Darji, who has served prison time for eight months and was released for a bail of Rs 50 crores.
The two conmen aided by Dhawal Vijay Mewani and Suresh Gorsiya, succeeded in convincing people to invest in their crypto using their fear brought on by the economic instability of the demonetization of November 2016.
BitConnect operated in many countries, including India, the US, and the UK.
“Kumbhani not only cheated investors in India but also in 10 other countries, including the US. People invested millions in the cryptocurrency floated by Kumbhani and suffered huge losses.” – said a senior CID official.
The officer noted that the fraudulent crypto site was easily marketed in the US due to Darji’s “great marketing skills and command on English.” As most scam sites are riddled with spelling errors and bad grammar, a site with eloquent English would add a hint of legitimacy to it.
After many investors losses their money, the US regulatory authorities sent their notices to BitConnect but the culprits were already on the run. They closed the exchange and then disappeared with all the money.
When the FBI found out that Gujarat CID arrested the Bitconnect scammers, the Delhi based FBI officers went to question them. No details regarding what was said during the interrogation were disclosed to the public.
India’s Gujarat has attracted media attention lately for a number of crypto-related crimes, with nine cases of crypto scams having been registered by the CID of the state.
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