Thane Businessman Loses Rs. 34 Lakh in Bitcoin Trading, Promised Lucrative Returns on WhatsApp Group
A 37-year-old businessman from Mira Road in Thane has been defrauded of Rs 33.65 lakh after being tricked into investing in Bitcoin on the false promise of lucrative returns, police said on Monday.
Police have registered a case against two people under Section 420 (Deceit and dishonest inducement to deliver goods) of the Indian Penal Code.
An official said the complainant had contacted the defendants through a WhatsApp group. In February 2022, he receives a message from two people, including the group administrator, asking him to become a Bitcoin investor if he wants lucrative returns.
“The businessman agreed and invested the money. He first got good returns, but later he suffered losses and stopped trading. But the accused contacted him and assured him that he would get guaranteed returns and demanded a 20% commission.Later, he saw an amount of $2,47,210 (about Rs. 2 crore) in his bitcoin account but could not withdraw due to technical issues,” the official said.
After a few days, he received a message that the Bitcoin app was frozen because the “contract has expired”. The duo of defendants also became secret, after which the businessman filed a complaint with the police.
No arrests have been made to date and further investigation is ongoing.
Bitcoin, a virtual currency, is unregulated in India and its circulation has been of concern to central bankers around the world for some time now. The Reserve Bank of India has also warned users, holders and traders of virtual currencies including Bitcoins.
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