Under the pretext of launching a fake coin called Morris cryptocurrency, a Kerala businessman Nishad K has allegedly collected over $162 million from hundreds of investors following which India’s Enforcement directorate [ED] seized illegal assets worth $4 million belonging to the accused kingpin. The assets attached under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act [PMLA] belong to the 31-year-old and his associates who allegedly duped at least 900 individuals.
Drilling deeper, the financial investigation agency has revealed that Nishad K, through his various firms such as Long Rich Global, Long Rich Technologies, and Morris Trading Solutions collected money from gullible investors who fall for the flashy promotional events, glossy websites along with the provision of e-wallets to each investor via web-based applications.
Officials further alleged that the deposits taken from the general public were illegal and without any statutory permission from any regulatory agencies. Moreover, the investigators asserted that the money duped from investors was spent for buying immovable properties, various other cryptocurrencies, and purchasing luxury cars and hotels. The ED stated,
In this regard, the cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum [5.92387265], BTC 90.08267646], BNB [5.51232875], YFI [0.023062], VET [4284.4], ADA [226.479601], USDT [35.88576551] totally valued at $34924 were found and all the above cryptocurrencies, purchased out of the proceeds of crime, were converted into INR and attached by the Enforcement Directorate.
That being said, with more people in India trading in all sorts of cryptos, hackers are having a field day.
Cryptocurrency scams- Regulation is the need of the hour
Some experts feel that the lack of regulation on cryptocurrency in India has increased the risk, as many users don’t have much knowledge of which coins are legitimate and which are not. N.S. Nappinai, an advocate of the Supreme Court of India believes that “at a very basic level” regulation will ensure that there is some sort of clarity with respect to what is permissible and what is criminal. “So that, from an investor’s point of view, it is preventive and protective. And from the law enforcement perspective, it gives them clarity to prosecute.”