India’s Special Investigation Team (SIT) has arrested eight people, including four law enforcement officials, in connection with a massive cryptocurrency fraud scheme in 2018.
The men were detained, bringing the total number of arrests to 18 as authorities continue to investigate a $300 million cryptocurrency scam affecting about 5,000 government employees and about 1,000 police officers.
Mukesh Agnihotri, Deputy Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, India, Tell The public expects more arrests will be made in connection with this illegal operation, which has claimed the lives of millions of victims over the past few years.
According to reports, between 2021 and 2023, multiple victims filed 56 complaints to local police about crypto scams surrounding the locally launched cryptocurrency Korvio Coin. Subhash Sharma, considered the prime suspect in the scheme, is still at large.
An investigation by the local police found that there were more than 300 suspects, each of whom made a profit of US$120,000 to US$240,000 from the scam. The victims apparently fell victim to Sharma and his associates due to the involvement of female promoters and police personnel in convincing others to invest in Korvio coins.
According to the SIT, the scam was first discovered in September 2023 and its history dates back five years.
Despite the industry’s best efforts to establish itself as a legitimate digital ecosystem capable of powering the world’s financial system, scams are not uncommon in the cryptocurrency space. In October 2023 alone, cryptocurrency scams cost victims approximately $32 million.
Canadians in Calgary also lost $22.5 million to scammers, while giant cryptocurrency exchange Binance helped Thai authorities freeze $277 million in illicit proceeds.
The largest crypto scams to date remain OneCoin’s $25 billion operation, the $4 billion BitConnect scam, and the Bitclub Network scam, with victims losing more than $700 million.