Bitconnect is a classic example of a “grace to grass” story. The cryptocurrency lending investment platform had one of the best runs in 2017 where it was the best performing. However, Bitconnect promoters’ woes deepened early this year with a “cease and desist order” from Texas Securities Board. This came after several calls for investigations into the firm’s operations. A few months later, the firm ceased operations with promoters disappearing with investors’ money.
The Times of India reports that Bitconnect promoters’ woes deepen with the latest development. According to the publication, two US States want the promoters’ properties seized. In an official letter, the States of Illinois and Arizona implored Gujarat police to take control of the properties. A Gujarat Criminal Investigation Department (CID) spokesperson said:
“Authorities of the US states of Illinois and Arizona wrote to us asking us to seize the property of the promoters of Bitconnect, as citizens of these states have invested in the company and lost money.”
According to The Next Web, suspicions about the cryptocurrency firm’s operations began to grow late 2017. The online news outlet reported several tech personalities expressing their doubts about the firm and its coin, BitConnect Coin (BCC). Even the founders of Ethereum and Litecoin added their voices advising people not to invest in Bitconnect.
Bitconnect promoters’ woes deepen as they face money laundering charges
In August, 2018, Gujarat CID arrested Divyesh Darji, the alleged kingpin of the ponzi scheme at a Delhi Airport. DNA India reported that Darji and his associates had “siphoned off about Rs 88,000 crore ($12.6 billion) from gullible investors.” According to the local publication, the other scammers include Mahendra Chaudhari, Satish Kumbhani. The promoters fled to foreign countries after the scam came to light.
As Bitconnect promoters’ woes deepen, Gujarat CID police add that most of the investments in the BCC involved black money.
“Those who invested in this virtual currency company after demonetization are suspected of laundering black money. We will write to the enforcement directorate and income tax authorities to probe such investors,” the Gujarat CID police spokesperson added.
Although authorities do not have all the perpetrators in custody, they assure that they will apprehend them.