₹6,600 Crore Bitcoin Scam: ED Summons Beneficiaries

₹6,600 Crore Bitcoin Scam: ED Summons Beneficiaries

According to ED sources, the summoned individuals are beneficiaries of Simpy Bhardwaj’s company, Variable Tech Pte Ltd

Ashish SinghUpdated: Friday, February 09, 2024, 11:54 AM IST
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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued summons to individuals whose passive wallets were found to contain a substantial amount of cryptocurrency linked to the Simpy Bhardwaj bitcoin scam, which involves a staggering Rs6,600 crore. According to ED sources, the summoned individuals are beneficiaries of Simpy Bhardwaj’s company, Variable Tech Pte Ltd. The company induced the beneficiaries to invest significant amounts with a promise of profits in the form of Bitcoin, which currently reside in the passive accounts. Passive wallets typically serve as personal wallets where transactions do not occur.

The agency has also found a hawala-crypto connection with links to real estate investments in Dubai, all done using cryptocurrency. The case is linked to the Rs6,600 crore cryptocurrency fraud. The arrested accused Simpy Bhardwaj, along with her husband Ajay Bhardwaj and her late brother-in-law, Amit Bhardwaj, are directors of Variable Tech Pte Ltd, located in Singapore. They lured investors with promises of high returns in cryptocurrency. During the investigation, the ED found that several individual beneficiaries received Bitcoins in passive wallets, which they kept secret.

ED probes how these individuals received the Bitcoins?

The ED aims to understand how these individuals received the Bitcoins, how much they invested, and how they received them through mining. Recently, summons were issued after the arrest of the Delhi-based event management company owner Nikhil Mahajan, who allegedly received 40 Bitcoins from the Bhardwaj brothers for promoting their products by organising events in Dubai and ensuring celebrity presence. Each Bitcoin is worth around Rs35 lakhs.

Several Bollywood actors attended the event, through which the Bhardwaj brothers promoted Variable Tech. The ED investigation also revealed that the proceeds of crime generated from this scam were transferred to various overseas companies and used for purchasing properties abroad. Additionally, it was found that Simpy was actively involved in generating, concealing, and layering the proceeds of crime. The investigation has found that money was then removed in Bitcoins and used for hawala operations. Most of these were done with Dubai-based agents. The probe throws light on how cryptocurrency is now replacing monetary transactions in hawala market.

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