People who got relief from highway projects invested in crypto fraud: Himachal DyCM
Shimla, Nov 4 : Expressing concern over the cryptocurrency fraud involving an illegal investment of Rs 2,500 crore in Himachal Pradesh, Deputy Chief Minister Mukesh Agnihotri on Saturday said that even people who received compensation from national highway projects have hugely invested in lure of quick profit.
Presiding over a meeting to review the action being taken against the kingpins who have cheated innocent people by luring them of high profits, he added, "I am pained to learn that even the people who have received compensation from the four-lane and national highway projects have parted with huge amounts of their money in lure of quick profit."
He appealed to the people not to invest in the unregulated cryptocurrency market as lack of regulation exposes investors to a higher risk of fraud, market manipulation and security breaches.
Agnihotri said people should restrict themselves from falling prey to such Ponzi schemes and crypto fraud.
"I have been told that a sum of Rs 500 crore, the hard-earned money of the people is lost in crypto racket. Even the Reserve Bank of India and the Security Exchange Board of India (SEBI) have confirmed the absence of authorisation of cryptocurrency and bitcoins," he added.
"I am observing that complaints have been pouring in from various districts of the state wherein people have been cheated in the crypto fraud," said the Deputy Chief Minister, adding as of date more than 300 complaints of crypto fraud have been received by the police.
He appreciated the state police for cracking the crypto network and making several arrests, including the culprits Hemraj and Sukhdev, both from Mandi, as well as Arun Guleria and Abhishekh from Una.
The other scammer, Subhash Sharma from Sarkaghat in Mandi district is still absconding and will also soon be arrested by the police, he said.
Director General of Police Sanjay Kundu said the department has reconstructed the website involved in the crypto scam having nearly 2.5 lakh different IDs.
He added that there were 70 to 80 imposters, who had earned more than Rs two crore from nearly one lakh investors. The police have seized property worth 8.5 crore so far at various places in Himachal Pradesh and Punjab's Zirakpur.
"We have tied up with Punjab Police and the Ministry of Home Affairs also have assured of every possible assistance."
Kundu said action was being taken against the criminals under the Banning of Unregulated Deposits Schemes (BUDS) Act, 2019, wherein the punishment for such offences was more severe.