Nagpur: Cases of Bitcoin fraud, where money is extorted from investors by luring them and giving false assurances of large returns on their investment in the virtual currency Bitcoin, are on the rise. A similar racket was busted in Thane last month. However, along with Thane, there have been several such complaints in Pune, Nanded and Kolhapur. Whereas, some people have been cheated in Karnataka as well. Against this backdrop, the Maharashtra State Government ordered a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe into the matter.
Last month, Thane police raided a company named The Flintstone Group in the district and busted a racket of Bitcoin fraud. This racket was involved in cheating rich people by promising them high returns on their investment in cryptocurrency. Many people had given money to the group to invest in Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency has seen a sharp rise in its value in the last year and a half. Even though the Indian Government has not recognised Bitcoin as a legal tender, many people were still investing in it hoping to earn large profits. The accused took advantage of this and founded The Flintstone Group to lure people into investing in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, to make substantial benefits within a short period.
The prime accused from this company is on the run. Another accused in the scam, Lakhan Singh was hiding in Dubai and had purchased large properties there with the money from the fraud. This case of Bitcoin fraud has become significant because of this Dubai connection. Many wealthy people from Karnataka had given crores of rupees to The Flintstone Group for investment in Bitcoin.
Against this backdrop, a decision has been taken to hand over this investigation to a SIT.