Company secretary held for cryptocurrency fraud

A company secretary was arrested from Haryana’s Gurugram over an alleged fraud of crores of rupees on the pretext of doubling people’s investments in cryptocurrency, Uttar Pradesh Police’s cyber crime unit said Wednesday.

The 31-year-old suspect, Prashant Singh, is part of a gang engaged in cryptocurrency-related frauds having links to China, police said. He was arrested on Tuesday by a team of officials led by Inspector Reeta Yadav in connection with a case of cheating lodged in April this year, according to an official statement.

A Noida resident had claimed a fraud of over Rs 13 lakh by him on the pretext of doubling his investment in Bitcoins after he was made part of a Whatsapp group, “BTC Analysis”. “During interrogation, the accused told police that they duped people by luring them into investing money in cryptocurrencies. They would take the money into bank accounts of bogus companies and from these accounts the funds were transferred into another account of the gang,” police said.

“Prashant Singh and his associates, some of whom have already been arrested, duped several people to the tune of crores of rupees on the pretext of cryptocurrency investment,” police added. The FIR was lodged under Indian Penal Code sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating), 467, 468 and 471 (all related to forgery of documents), police said.

Charges under the Information Technology Act have also been invoked in the case, police added.

India currently does not have any regulatory framework for crytpocurrencies while the Reserve Bank had in July 2022 recommended a ban on them, citing “destabilising effect” on the country’s economy. Meanwhile, police have urged people to be cautious during online transactions and use the dedicated helpline 1930 to report any such offense.

Also Read: BNY Mellon’s Robin Vince on factors which contributed towards the bank’s launch of institutional-backed cryptocurrency

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