Sleuths from the Commissionerâ€™s Task Force in Hyderabad on Friday conducted a raid at the office of GRM Estates Pvt Ltd in Old Bowenpally and busted a massive cryptocurrency racket. The police said that the racket was being organised under the guise of a multi-level marketing scheme and five people have been arrested.
The accused have been identified as Gardas Ramesh, a 46-year-old real estate businessman, and his associates Sudagoni Sathaiah, Namalla Venkatesh, Kunchala Hari Gopal and Chandupatla Srinivas.
"The main accused Gardas Ramesh hatched a plan to gain illegal easy money and started a multi-level marketing business with the name of Coinx Trade, claiming that it was a legitimate cryptocurrency, and lured the gullible public with a promise of making them rich within short period with high returns, encouraging them to invest money in Coinx Trading, which was being organised online from the USA and UK," the police said in a press note.
"In this money circulation scheme, to develop his business, the accused appointed four sub-organizers and cheated several victims," the police said, adding that they seized material worth about Rs 1.8 crore.
Explaining the modus operandi, the police said that Ramesh migrated to Hyderabad around 25 years ago and was a habitual offender as he was previously involved in three similar cases.
"In the year 2016, Ramesh hatched a plan and approached two managers in a software development company, explained his plan and requested them to develop a software and website called 'coinxtrading.com' to convince potential customers that the business was genuine. The accused paid Rs 1 lakh to the software developers for this, as they portrayed the business to be based out of the USA and UK, claiming that it was globally accepted legal trade," the police said.
The police said that Ramesh then set up his office in Bowenpally and since March 2017, was attracting customers from across Telangana. He later hired four more people and offered them huge commissions to lure customers to make high investments.
The accused paid benefits to the customers at initial stages to attract more customers, the police said.
After conducting the raid, the police seized a net cash of Rs 29,2 lakh besides documents dealing with land sales, 3 laptops, 1 computer system, one cash receipt book, two swiping machines, two cars, 9 cellphones, 4 chequebooks and 4 ATM cards.
The police also said that they had registered 10 FIRs against the accused under relevant sections of the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, Telangana Protection of Depositors of financial establishment Act besides the IPC for cheating around 1,200 customers in total, who had invested up to Rs 10 crore.