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Delhi bitcoin fraud: Accused’s brother being questioned

On Thursday, Delhi Police took custody of Vivek Bhardwaj, brother of Bitcoin scam accused Amit Bhardwaj — who allegedly cheated more than 2,000 people to the tune of more than Rs 2,000 crore in a cryptocurrency fraud spanning multiple states.

Vivek and Amit were arrested in April by a Special Investigation Team of the Pune police, which had taken their custody following their detention from Bangkok. On Thursday, Delhi Police took Vivek’s custody and took him to Prashant Vihar police station for questioning.

The Bhardwaj brothers, residents of Shahipur village in Delhi’s Shalimar Bagh, are founders and CEOs of Gain Bitcoin, GB Minors and GB21 firms, through which they allegedly lured investors by promising to pay them Bitcoins but never delivered, police said.

The latest fraud case against Amit was registered after the owner of a software development firm, T R Mittal, and two others claimed they were promised a foreign trip to Dubai, and were later taken to two meetings at five-star hotels in Delhi, where they were introduced to a referral scheme. However, when the promised Bitcoins were not transferred, they approached police.

Mittal told The Indian Express that he paid Rs 1.09 crore to the accused. Mittal said that in 2016, he met one Karan, who introduced himself as the control head of the Delhi NCR operations, and Pawan Batra, a sub-agent. Both claimed to be associated with Amit and said they were well-versed with his Bitcoin mining operations.

The accused also claimed that Amit’s company had bought a gold mine in Africa and more than 100 investors had been taken to Dubai for a trip.

Mittal was promised a 10% interest on his investment of 240 Bitcoins, which translated to 24 Bitcoins every month.

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