According to Enforcement Directorate officers, at least 900 individuals were defrauded of over Rs 1,200 crore after investing in an “initial coin offering” issued by a Kerala person for a non-existent cryptocurrency.
Insights On The Topic
According to ED sources, investments in bogus cryptocurrencies were made in 2020, primarily during the lockout. According to officials, the affected individuals purchased the “Morris Coin,” which is listed on the Franc Platform cryptocurrency exchange in Coimbatore, in a similar way to an initial offering. “Ten Morris coins were priced at Rs 15,000 each and had a 300-day lock-in period. The money was forged. The investors were handed an e-wallet and informed that the value of the currency would skyrocket if it was exchanged on the exchange.
However, the coin’s promoters siphoned off the funds and unlawfully invested in assets in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka, primarily real estate, without disclosing any source of income,” according to an ED source. The agency conducted searches at 11 locations in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Delhi in the previous few days, including the Bengaluru-based Long Rich Technologies and Morris Trading Solutions, among several others.
Going In the Deep
Unni Mukundan Films Pvt. Ltd, a company founded by Malayalam actor Unni Mukundan, and Nextel Group, a company with interests in the hotel business in Kerala, were among the locations searched. The searches, according to the actor, were tied to a movie production firm he founded. “The ED officer was curious about the venture’s source of revenue. He stated, “I have provided them all the details.” Nishad, 31, of Pookkottumpadam village in Malappuram district, has been identified as the fraud’s mastermind by the ED. Officials from the ED stated the actor had ties to Nishad but did not specify what they were.
After police in Kannur and Malappuram districts filed various complaints involving Nishad and others under Section 420 (Cheating) of the IPC and the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, the ED took up the matter last year. Long Rich Technologies, Long Rich Trading, and Long Rich Global, all of which are located in Bengaluru, first enticed investors by claiming to have developed an online education program. Morris coin was envisioned as a cryptocurrency that would be listed on a cryptocurrency market.
Between the two, the accused criminals conducted a Ponzi scheme. After the firm stopped transmitting the promised rewards, several of the investors went to the police. According to sources, individuals behind the scam, including Nishad, have a little financial or educational background. They also refused to reveal the identities of the other suspects.
“In Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka, they had shell firms.” They were charlatans who claimed about their connections with celebrities from all walks of life and used promotional events to entice unsuspecting investors. They don’t have any money to back them up. We can’t say anything about everyone involved in the cryptocurrency scheme right now since our investigation is still ongoing,” stated a source. After securing an anticipatory release in the police charges from the Kerala High Court, Nishad had fled the country.