India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED), a specialized financial investigation agency under the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, has seized assets valued at 36.72 crore rupees ($5 million) in connection with a cryptocurrency scam. The ED began investigating the alleged crypto scam after a first information report (FIR) was registered by the Kerala Police under the Indian Penal Code.
The alleged scam involved a nonexistent cryptocurrency called Morris coin.
The alleged crypto scam involves a nonexistent cryptocurrency called Morris coin. Nishad and his companies conducted an initial coin offering (ICO) for the coin and collected money from investors. The financial authorities explained that they held “promotional events in the presence of celebrities” and used “flashy websites” to attract investors. The police said that over 900 investors were duped out of 1,200 crore rupees ($162 million). The funds collected from investors were used to purchase immovable properties, cryptocurrencies, and luxury cars, as well as pay for premium hotels and resorts, the ED revealed.
The seized assets belong to Nishad K. and his associates.
The seized assets belong to Nishad K. and his associates. They include money in multiple bank accounts, land, and cryptocurrencies purchased out of 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 at Indian and international crypto exchanges, were found. They were purchased out of the proceeds of crime.
“During the investigation, all the above cryptocurrencies … were converted into Indian rupee and transferred to the bank account by the coins’ owner, which was attached,” the ED statement further noted.