Pharma executive Harshad Patel is the latest victim of a crypto investment fraud. The Indian citizen was duped of Rs 22 lakh by his business partner and three of his aides.
Harshad Patel works for a pharmaceutical company in the Moraiya village of the Ahmedabad district. He registered an FIR with the CID on Thursday.
The victim said that in 2017, his friend and business partner, Kamlesh Patel, introduced him to the couple Alpesh Suhagia and Bharti Suhagia from Nikol.
Alpesh sweet-talked Harshad into investing Rs 15 lakh in Bitcoin by telling him how the price of one Bitcoin rose to Rs 70,000 in 2017 from Rs 10 in 2009.
Alpesh told Harshad it would take some time to obtain a Bitcoin wallet and introduced him to Prashant Brahmbhatt in the meanwhile. Brahmbhatt, who was from Vadodara, introduced another scheme to Harshad called the “Senar Wallet”, and convinced him to transfer his investment to this scheme.
Alpesh, along with Bharti, Kamlesh and Brahmbhatt persuaded Harshad to invest another Rs 4 lakh in an investment scheme, called Bux Coins which would double his money.
Kamlesh, Harshad’s business partner also withdrew Rs 3 lakh from the coaching class account to invest in a scheme called “Dagcoin” in November 2017.
Harshad said he has only ever received a return of Rs 1.24 lakh between July 3, 2017 and August 14, 2017 and has asked multiple times for his return or even his initial investment back from the four implicated.
Harshad has filed a complaint for breach of trust, cheating, abetment and criminal conspiracy against Kamlesh, Alpesh, Bharti and Bhrahmbhatt.
The rise of crypto scams in India is at par with the increasing popularity of crypto. On Thursday, the Enforcement Directorate arrested one of the main suspects in a Rs 1,200 crore fake crypto scam, which involves something called the “Morris Coin”.