Pune Police are preparing to issue a red corner notice against Ajay Bhardwaj and his father Mahendar Kumar, the absconded accused in the cryptocurrency scam. Cops believe that after the arrest of Amit, alleged kingpin of scam, and his brother Vivek, it was business as usual for the other ventures started by Bharadwaj. They believe Ajay continued to manipulate the sites and continued with operations.
The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Pune crime branch has arrested 10 accused, including Amit. Two FIRs have been lodged at Nigdi and Dattawadi police stations in connection with the cryptocurrency scam.
Crime branch cops believe that they manipulated the sites and continued with business operations
After Amit’s arrest, the cyber cell sleuths are able to bring out more evidences against the Bhardwaj brothers, who they believe are the main conspirators of the scam. It was only during further probe that the cops found Ajay and Mahendar’s major involvement in the case.
Sudhir Hiremath, deputy commissioner of police (EOW and cyber cell), told Mirror, “We have found major involvement of Ajay and his father Mahendar in the matter. We are preparing to issue red corner notices against the duo so that we will able to get more details about them. Our teams are putting best efforts into the investigation.”
When cops tried to search the online sites involved in the scam, all were found to be taken down from the domain. Also the price of MCap, a cryptocurrency floated by Amit, was on the rise despite the kingpin being behind bars. It was launched in May 2017 and back then priced at US$ 4 apiece. Over the next few weeks, it rose to US$ 7. A day after Amit’s arrest on April 4, it plummeted to US$ 0.06. However, for a month after his arrest, the price of MCap kept appreciating. By April 10, the price appreciated to US$ 0.20.
This, experts point out, is because of Ajay, who is still on the run. Ajay apparently is, what experts term, burning the coins. This, in effect means that he is exchanging them for other cryptocurrencies, thereby showing a spike in dealings in the tainted currency. Experts explain that unlike other ICOs (initial coin offerings), where 90 per cent tokens are sold and 10 per cent retained by promoters, Amit and associates reversed their offerings. They retained 90 per cent and sold 10 per cent for US$ 44 million.