Roughly a year ago, Mumbai police accused the founder of ATC Coin Ltd. of running a cryptocurrency scam. Now the case has gone cold after police remain unable to locate any of the alleged victims.
In October 2017, police in Mumbai said they were looking for the founder and sole director of ATC Coin LTD. for allegedly running a cryptocurrency scam.
At the time, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police was on the hunt for Subhashchand Jewria for allegedly illicitly raising money from investors who invested into his company — and its affiliated virtual currency, ATC Coin. The company then used the funds to buy property after moving the cash into personal accounts.
The EOW later booked Jewra and his brother for offenses related to cheating, conspiracy, and criminal breach of trust after carrying out searches of offices and personal addresses.
However, the case now seems to have gone cold as authorities have been unable to find anyone who invested in the scheme willing to come forward.
An Illicit Cryptocurrency Marketing Scheme
Police say Jewra was allegedly able to entice people to invest in the cryptocurrency after promising that coins could be traded on exchanges after a lock-in period.
Documents say Jewra incorporated ATC Coin Ltd. in the United Kingdom in March 2017 in order to create a cryptocurrency (ATC Coin) while also operating in the fund management field. An investigation found the company only existed on paper.
In October 2017, sources inside the EOW told MoneyControl that those behind ATC Coin were purportedly offering a 10% return after a 12-18 month lock in period. The outlet also reported investors forecasting promised returns as high as 24% in a single month.
ATC Coin LTD. allegedly lured investors with promises of big gains, premium gifts, and the promise that ATC Coin could be used to purchase items from online retailers.
Overall, a Parliamentary Enquiry concluded the entire scheme was a bogus operation “floated by Jewria in the garb of a cryptocurrency.”
A Case Gone Cold
Despite the work by authorities on conducting an investigation into the scheme, the Indian Express recently reported how the case went cold.
Through follow-up reporting on a story from last year, the outlet confirms that the EOW has been unable to find any people who actually invested in ATC Coin Ltd.
Those who the police spoke with have not officially filed a complaint. This means the case has seemingly hit a dead end for now.
An anonymous official told the Indian Express how investors are scared “they might face a lot of scrutiny if they came forward,” since cryptocurrency regulations in India are currently in a grey area.
The official also said the frozen assets of the accused are not able to be dispersed to investors since no one has come forward yet.
Entities in India’s cryptocurrency world have been hit hard by heavy-handed policies from the nation’s Reserve Bank, who instituted a wide-sweeping ban in July that targeted crypto-related companies.
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Author: Kevin O’Brien