$120 million crypto scam uncovered in India
- Police confirmed the existence of a huge Ponzi multi-level marketing scheme under the garb of crypto tokens.
- The scheme has more than 0.2 million members spread across India.
Indian police have arrested individuals who ran a 120 million crypto scam along the lines of a Ponzi scheme, ANI reported.
Jai Narayan Pankaj, chief of the Economic Offence Wing (EOW), Odisha Police, confirmed the existence of a Ponzi multi-level marketing scheme under the garb of crypto tokens.
#WATCH | Bhubaneswar: On a Rs 1,000 crore cryptocurrency scam, (IG EOW) JN Pankaj says, “Odisha (EOW) has busted a very big multimedia, pyramid structure, ponzi scam…We have got to know that people have invested more than Rs 1,000 crores in this scam across India. Around 10,000… pic.twitter.com/K0UZACouCg
— ANI (@ANI) August 8, 2023
Police has arrested the leaders of the scam from different locations in India.
The Solar Techno Alliance (STA) was established in 2021. The scheme presented itself as a blockchain-based company. It claimed to reduce the delivery time between customers and farmers with an emphasis on solar technology.
Crypto scam following a Ponzi model
The crypto scam used every available method to trick customers into thinking that it was a generic crypto token. It had a website, YouTube channels, social network handles, and more.
The scammers had urged an increasing number of people to invest in crypto and amass significant amounts of cash. They also encouraged victims to bring others into the group.
The scammers told scheme members that they would earn $20-$3,000 per day if they recruited more members under them. They also promised members bonuses and other royalties for the same.
The intelligence wing provided Odisha EOW with an initial lead on the crypto fraud. It emerged that the scheme was operating from different cities in Odisha, and spread to over 0.2 million people in India.
The police discovered that the STA was not licensed to collect deposits by the Reserve Bank of India, India’s central bank, or other authorities. Furthermore, though its website was hosted from Iceland, India was the center of its business activity.