A cryptocurrency operation based in India made dozens of Indian Australians lose millions of dollars of investment. The scheme was unearthed by the Indian police, but the victims can’t recover their losses.
Fake crypto operation busted in India
Dozens of Indian Australians recently lost their hard-earned money after investing in a fake crypto operation in India. The police busted the operation in India, but the defunct company has no promise of recovering the investors’ losses.
The crypto scheme was called Plus Gold Union Coin and was promoted via white papers and several graphs to Australians in 2017. The people were promised minimum risk but high returns. The fraud carried on as a multi-level marketing scheme in Melbourne and Sydney where several Indian Australian signed up for gains and introduced their friends and family members to the fore. Several people invested tens of thousands of dollars into the scheme but are now left struggling for their money.
Rajiv Sharma, who invested $52,000 in the scheme said that the company looked genuine. It had a good website and provided users with personal dashboards. It had slick statistics and graphs alongside presentations by its promoters who all talked about growth. He talked to SBS Punjabi, saying that the presentations were later found to be plagiarized from another cryptocurrency.
What went wrong?
The scheme played out well in the beginning, but it started telling investors about losses in late 2018. The investors were unable to access their coins through the project’s website. Sharma says that he was fine with the value dropping, but his crypto had completely disappeared.
Meanwhile, police in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh had started receiving complains about the project from investors. They claimed that they were unable to cash their coins upon maturity and were forcefully made to invest for another six months. Over 1000 Indian investors lost a collective $20 million due to the fraud.
At least 67 people have come forward in Australia claiming that they have lost money. One of them is Sundeep Khisty, who invested $30,000 after a work colleague told him about the scheme. Khisty says that he didn’t receive any returns on his investment. He is now the group’s spokesperson and is in touch with authorities from India as well as Australia. Buying crypto has its own risks and investors need to do their due diligence.
According to him, the group has written to both the ASIC and the Prime Minister’s Office, and they have acknowledged their complaints. However, the group doesn’t know what the authorities are doing about it.