Shimla, October 14
The special investigation team (SIT) formed to probe into the cryptocurrency scam in the state will take the help of Central agency Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to ascertain the trail of financial transactions made by the accused. The SIT has already sought assistance from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), besides eight other agencies.
The cryptocurrency scammers have cheated more than 2.5 lakh people across the country and owe over Rs 400 crore to them. The Himachal Police are now tracing other accused who lured people into investing money in the fake cryptocurrency scheme by promising high returns.
A senior police officer privy to the developments said, “It is a huge scam involving around Rs 2,000 crore and 2.5 lakh investors. Also, a large number of small and large financial transactions would have taken place. The SIT is in the process of writing to the FIU to trace the financial transactions of the scammers and the investors.
DGP Sanjay Kundu said, “The cryptocurrency scam is like a web of financial transactions involving a number of bank accounts and to trace them, we have sought the help of the FIU.” The FIU is a national agency responsible for receiving, processing, analysing and disseminating information relating to doubtful financial transactions to enforcement agencies and foreign FIUs.
DIG, Northern range, Abhishek Dullar, who heads the SIT constituted to probe into the cryptocurrency scam, said, “The cryptocurrency scam case will not be transferred to the FIU. We will only seek its assistance in the case that involves a number of bank accounts and financial transactions running into thousands of crores of rupees. The FIU is like a central repository of all financial transactions, bank accounts and PAN details, besides other vital information.”
Dullar said, “Not taking the help of the FIU in the case will be tantamount to a wild goose chase, affecting the ongoing investigation. So, even if we have the names of the investors or the accused without their bank account details, the FIU can help us in tracing their financial transactions. And that’s going to play a crucial role in the investigation.”
He said, “We have already written to the RBI and SEBI, besides eight other agencies for help in the case. Complaints about the scam continue to pour in. Now, there is a definitive trust deficit among people, who have started exercising caution with regard to investments.”
Asked about the alleged involvement of police personnel in the cryptocurrency scam, Kundu said, “The emphasis is on arresting kingpins. We have arrested some of them and the hunt is on to nab other main players in the scam. The investigation is going on and whosoever is involved will face action, as per the law.”
Emphasis on arresting kingpins
The cryptocurrency scam is like a web of financial transactions involving a number of bank accounts and to trace them, we have sought the help of the FIU... The emphasis is on arresting kingpins. We have arrested some of them and the hunt is on to nab other main players in the scam. The investigation is going on and whosoever is involved will face action, as per the law. — Sanjay Kundu, DGP
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