Businessman Raj Kundra’s properties worth Rs 97 crore seized in ponzi scam

Businessman Raj Kundra’s properties worth Rs 97 crore, including Shilpa Shetty's Juhu flat, seized by ED
Businessman Raj Kundra’s properties worth Rs 97 crore seized in ponzi scam
Jaano Junction

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached immovable and movable properties worth Rs 97.79 crore belonging to businessman Raj Kundra in a bitcoin Ponzi scam under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002. The attached properties also include a flat situated in Juhu in the name of Kundra's wife and actor Shilpa Shetty.

The attached properties include a bungalow situated in Pune and equity shares in the name of Raj Kundra.

The ED initiated an investigation based on multiple FIRs registered by Maharashtra Police and Delhi Police against one Variable Tech Private Limited, and accused - late Amit Bhardwaj, Ajay Bhardwaj, Vivek Bhardwaj, Simpy Bhardwaj, Mahender Bhardwaj and others.

It has been alleged that the accused had collected huge amounts of funds in the form of bitcoins (worth Rs 6,600 crore in 2017 itself) from the people with the false promises of 10 per cent per month return in the form of bitcoins.

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Businessman Raj Kundra’s properties worth Rs 97 crore seized in ponzi scam

The collected bitcoins were supposed to be utilised for bitcoin mining and investors were supposed to get huge returns in crypto assets. But the promoters cheated the investors and have been concealing the ill-gotten Bitcoins in obscure online wallets.

According to an investigation by the ED, Raj Kundra received 285 bitcoins from Amit Bhardwaj, the mastermind and promoter of the Gain Bitcoin ponzi scam, for setting up a bitcoin mining farm in Ukraine. The said bitcoins were sourced out of proceeds of crime collected by Amit Bhardwaj from gullible investors.

Since the deal did not materialise, Raj Kundra is still in possession of 285 bitcoins, which are presently valued at more than Rs 150 crore.

Earlier, multiple search operations were carried out in the case and three people were arrested -- Simpy Bhardwaj (on December 17, 2023), Nithin Gaur (on December 29, 2023) and Nikhil Mahajan (on January 16, 2023) All of them are presently in judicial custody.

The main accused, Ajay Bhardwaj and Mahendra Bhardwaj, are still absconding.

Earlier, the ED had attached properties worth Rs 69 crore.

On June 11, 2019, the prosecution filed a complaint and a supplementary complaint on February 14 this year in the case. A special PMLA court took note of the complaints.

Source: India Today

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