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ED attaches Raj Kundra and Shilpa Shetty’s properties worth over Rs 97 crore in Rs 6600 Crore Bitcoin ponzi scam

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED), in a post has announced it will be attaching Raj Kundra and Shilpa Shetty’s assets to the tune of Rs 97 crore.

In a statement on Thursday afternoon, the agency announced its decision to provisionally attach immovable and movable properties belonging to Ripu Sudan Kundra, also known as Raj Kundra, under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.

The statement read, “ED, Mumbai has provisionally attached immovable and movable properties worth Rs. 97.79 Crore belonging to Ripu Sudan Kundra aka Raj Kundra under the provisions of PMLA, 2002. The attached properties include Residential flat situated in Juhu presently in the name of Smt. Shilpa Shetty, Residential Bunglow situated in Pune and Equity shares in the name of Raj Kundra.”

The attached properties include a residential flat located in Juhu, currently registered under the name of the businessman’s actress wife, Shilpa Shetty. Additionally, a residential bungalow situated in Pune and equity shares registered under the name of Raj Kundra have been included in the attachment.

The action taken by the ED is part of its ongoing investigation into alleged money laundering activities involving Kundra. In a statement to the media, the central body stated that they initiated investigation on the basis of multiple FIRs registered by Maharashtra Police and Delhi Police against M/s Variable Tech Pte Ltd, Late Amit Bhardwaj, Ajay Bhardwaj, Vivek Bhardwaj, Simpy Bhardwaj, Mahender Bhardwaj and number of MLM agents.

According to the agency, it has been alleged that huge amounts of funds were collected in the form of Bitcoins (worth Rs 6600 Crore in 2017 itself) from the ‘gullible public’ with the ‘false promises of 10% per month return in the form of Bitcoins’.

READ MORE: CBI books second-biggest electoral bond buyer Megha Engineering and 8 steel ministry officials in Rs 315 cr case

“The collected Bitcoins were supposed to be utilized 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,” read the statement.

The ED also mentioned that Raj Kundra received 285 Bitcoins from the mastermind and promoter of Gain Bitcoin Ponzi Scam Amit Bhardwaj for setting up 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 didn’t materialize, Kundra is still in possession and enjoyment of 285 Bitcoins which are presently valued at more than Rs. 150 Crore,” the ED said.

Previously, multiple search operations were conducted in connection with this case, leading to the arrest of three individuals – Simpy Bhardwaj on December 17, 2023, Nitin Gaur on December 29, 2023, and Nikhil Mahajan on January 16, 2023. All three individuals are currently in judicial custody.

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

source by : TOI

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