New Delhi: A team of law enforcement officials have nabbed Amit Bhardwaj and his brother Vivek Bhardwaj. The Bhardwaj brothers, alleged of duping investors in MLM and bitcoin related schemes, were finally nabbed after evading arrest multiple times.
The duo- Amit (seen in the picture accompanying this story) and Vivek - were traveling to Delhi from Bangkok, and were intercepted by a team of Special Investigation Authorities at the Delhi Airport. An STI team from Pune has sought their custody.
Nearly 8000 people have been reportedly cheated by various dubious investment plans from companies headed by the Bhardwaj brothers. The total size of the scam is estimated to run over Rs 2000 crores.
Vivek and Amit hailing from Shalimar Bagh area in Delhi were the founders of companies - Gain Bitcoin, GB Miners, and GB21. These companies were fronts for bitcoin mining, trading and multi-level marketing, cops say .
Investors were lured into investing in Gain Bitcoin through several multi-level marketing concepts. At one time Amit, who has been alleged to be the mastermind, also launched his own cryptocurrency flavour called MCAP.
MCAPs were priced at $5 per coin. The amounts raised from MCAP tokens were used to buy bitcoins. Besides MCAP, companies operated by the Bhardwaj brothers also sought investors willing to infuse money into bitcoins. For every bitcoin investment , the investors were promised a 10% return every year.
But investors soon realised the hollow promises. An investor in the MCAP plan sought to sell his stakes, and that turned to be a major turning point for the Bhardwaj duo. Short on cash, they were left with no other option but to run away from the country.
Apparently Amit Bhardwaj , the younger among the brothers was an ex-Infosys associate. Multiple sources claimed that their father was working with the Finance ministry, and that inspired Amit to have a keen interest in economics.
As the heat from investors surged, the Bhardwaj brothers left the country. An Enforcement Directorate lookout notice helped find them - first in Dubai then in Thailand.
The duo would have been nabbed in Dubai had it not been for Amit reportedly faking a heart attack. The heart attack helped the Bhardwaj brothers time their escape to Thailand.
So far, ten arrests have been made in the case. These arrests were made based on complaints in Mumbai, Nanded, Kolhapur, Nigdi, Dattawadi and other parts of Maharashtra.
Other major arrests in the Bhardwaj case include that of Pankaj Adalakha, a motivational speaker and Akash Sancheti, a software firm operator. The investigation authorities have so far recovered 32 bitcoins, nearly 80 Ethers, and Rs 38.96 lakh in cash.