Kashh Coin Founder Arrested for Fraud After 9 Months in Hiding
Asif Ashrak Malkani, the man behind the allegedly fraudulent Kashh Coin, has been arrested by India’s Delhi Crime Branch. Malkani has been on the run for over 9 months, evading authorities ever since his associate was taken into custody in 2017.
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Continuous Efforts From Police Lead to Arrest of Kashh Coin Founder
The Delhi Crime Branch, a special unit of the Delhi Police, has ultimately gained success in nabbing Malkani, the engineer behind the alleged Ponzi token Kashh Coin, as reported on Times of India.
Malkani is accused of scamming investors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by convincing them to invest in Kashh Coin, promising higher returns. To coax investors into buying his token, Malkani reportedly orchestrated a pan-India crypto racket with his associates.
In 2016, Malkani and his associates launched Kashh Coin at a price of $0.047 USD per coin. At the time, Malkani and his partners promised investors that their token’s value would eventually Bitcoin.
Suspicions about Kashh Coin surfaced after an investor filed a complaint against the token, claiming to have been robbed of $33,000 USD. Following the complaint, the cyber cell initiated a cross-state investigation, leading to the arrest of Sonu Dahiya, an associate of Malkani.
During interrogation, Dahiya — aka Narendra — told authorities Kashh Coin was built as a Ponzi scheme, adding that Malkani was the architect of the entire operation.
Following Dahiya’s interrogation, Crime Branch DCP Bhisham Singh said:
“Malkani and his associates also organize lavish seminars in different places, including Nepal, Mumbai, Gujarat, Chandigarh, Raipur and Nagpur, for business promotion. At these seminars, they would claim that the rate of this coin will cross the cost of Bitcoin.”
After Dahiya’s arrest, Malkani reportedly went into hiding, sparking a nine-month search for the alleged Ponzi operator.
Launching Another Fake Cryptocurrency
The Times of India reported that — while in hiding — Malkani began work on a new alleged scam token: V-flix. This token was meant to power his new streaming website, V-Tube. Law enforcement officials stated Malkani had moved his base of operations to India’s most popular state, Uttar Pradesh, and was trying to convince Delhi-based realtors to invest into V-flix.
Further investigation revealed Malkani had also opened up an allegedly phony business firm called Puneet Enterprise. Police found that Malkani moved a substantial amount of funds using Puneet Enterprise’s bank account, believing he did so to cover the tracks of his ill-gotten gains from Kashh Coin.
India’s Ongoing Battle With Crypto Scams
Malkani’s alleged Ponzi scheme shares many similarities with the activities of Amit Bhardwaj, India’s most infamous crypto fraudster.
In April 2018, Bhardwaj was arrested in Bangkok after escaping arrest for months. Bhardwaj operated multiple Ponzi schemes, using paid celebrity endorsements to market them to potential victims. Reportedly, Bhardwaj has agreed to compensate victims of his schemes.
These kinds of crypto-based crimes have influenced India’s negative attidute towards the technology. As such, the country has made many controversial decisions regarding cryptocurrency, enacting tough policies to restrict its use. While the Indian government says their actions are in the best interest of the citizens, many people around the world have criticized these policies as draconian measures.
What do you think about the current state of cryptocurrency in India? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Images via Pixabay, The Times of India