Mumbai: Bail rejected for man who duped friend to invest in cryptocurrency

The HC was hearing a plea filed by Yevale seeking relief from arrest in the cases filed against him

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Tuesday, May 17, 2022, 11:38 PM IST
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Observing that custodial interrogation was required, the Bombay High Court has rejected the pre-arrest bail plea of a man accused of allegedly duping two friends to invest Rs 21.27 lakh in virtual/cryptocurrency through a website.

On May 11, Justice NJ Jamadar rejected pre-arrest bail plea of Atul Yevale in an FIR registered against him at Baramati observing that prima facie (on the face of it) it is revealed that the complainant, Rajendrandra Salunke) and his friends “were induced to part with money”.

The HC was hearing a plea filed by Yevale seeking relief from arrest in the cases filed against him.

According to the police, Yevale and his friends induced Salunke to invest money in virtual/cryptocurrency, i.e., Tron through the website WWW.COIN24.LIVE. Yevale purportedly Told Salunkhe and his associates that the value of 1 Tron was equivalent to Rs.10. They were further told that they would earn a profit of Rs 0.50 per cent per Tron per day for their investments.

Yevale and his friend gave Rs 21,37,350 for the same. The police claimed that Yevale and his friends were neither repaid the said amount nor returned the investment, as promised. Hence, they filed an FIR with the Baramati Police Station.

Yevale’s advocates, Prashant Raul and BS Shinde argued that he and Salunkhe were known to each other for a long and that the latter (Salunkhe) had already invested in cryptocurrency. Also, the website, WWW.COIN24.LIVE was operated by the co-accused.To show Yevale’s bonafide, the advocate argued that Yevale immediately utilised the amount invested by Salunkhe. Hence, neither the offence of cheating nor that of criminal breach of trust is prima-facie is made out.

The court noted: “From the perusal of the material on record, especially the first information report (FIR), it becomes evident that the first informant (Salunkhe) and his associates were made to part with a huge sum of Rs.21,37,350.” The court also took note of the fact that “substantial portion of this amount was transferred through banking channels and/or UPI/Payment Apps” to Yevale and his associates”.

Additional public prosecutor RM Pethe argued that Yevale and his associates had visited Baramati twice to convince Salunkhe to make the said investment.

“The submission on behalf of the applicant (Yevale) that he has no concern with WWW.COIN24.LIVE and only the co-accused were handling the same, at this stage, which does not merit acceptance. It is essentially a matter for investigation,” observed the HC while rejecting the pre-arrest bail.

Yevale’s advocate relied on his bank statements to show that the amount transferred by Salunkhe was used for investment.

“It renders the version of the first informant and his friends that they were induced to part with money rather incontestable,” added the court.

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