India’s Directorate of Law Enforcement has seized assets worth around $5 million in an alleged cryptocurrency scam involving the Morris coin that misled investors on $162 million. The proceeds of crime were used to purchase cryptocurrencies.
Indian Authorities Seize Assets in Alleged Crypto Scam Case
The Law Enforcement (ED) Directorate of India, a specialized financial investigation agency under the Revenue Department of the Ministry of Finance, seized assets worth Rs 36.72 crore ( $5 million) as part of a cryptocurrency scam.
The ED began investigating the scheme after a first information report (FIR) was registered by the Kerala Police under the Indian Penal Code. Several other FIRs were subsequently registered by the police in other districts.
The scheme involves a non-existent cryptocurrency called Morris coin. Nishad and his companies conducted an initial coin offering (ICO) for the coin and collected money from investors. The ED explained that they hold “celebrity-attended promotional events” and use “flashy websites” to attract investors. Police said more than 900 investors were duped out of Rs 1,200 crore.
Money raised from investors has been used to buy real estate, cryptocurrency and luxury cars, as well as pay for high-end hotels and resorts, ED noted.
The seized assets belong to Nishad K. and his associates. They include money in multiple bank accounts, land, and cryptocurrencies bought with the proceeds of crime.
The ED detailed:
Cryptocurrencies such as ETH, BTC, BNB, YFI, VET, ADA and USDT valued at ₹25,82,794 and maintained on Indian and international crypto exchanges have been found. They were purchased with the proceeds of crime.
“During the investigation, all of the above cryptocurrencies…were converted into Indian rupees and transferred to the bank account by the owner of the coins, which were attached,” the ED statement noted.
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