India has cracked down on a crypto scam that could have costed investors $5.36m, arresting 11 people under suspicion of involvement.
The events took place in Nagpur where police authorities converged and apprehended four suspects.
The raid resulted in the seizure of numerous assets believed to have originated from criminal operations, including gold and “luxury vehicles” worth $134,000.
Another $25,000 in cash was also confiscated from the offenders, along with a firearm and eight cellphones.
The rest of the suspects were arrested a day later and charged under the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors Act and Information Technology Act provisions.
The culprits reportedly convinced investors to purchase Ethereum through the ZebPay exchange and then send the funds to a website controlled by one of the suspects.
Ether Trade Asia was created by Nishid Wasnik, one of the four people apprehended in the first raid. The police have confirmed that at least $500,000 was lost by more than 170 investors, but the police are similarly investigating $5.36m in what it considers to be fraudulent transactions.
Crypto scams have become commonplace, but authorities have learned how to counteract them. Governments around the world have been stepping up their game.
Still, retail investors are at risk of falling victims to fraudulent activities involving crypto such as the “pig-butchering scam” operated out of China and Hong Kong whereby con artists establish a romantic relationship with their victims and ask them to transfer money.
China has cautioned consumers to be wary of metaverse scams which have become commonplace as well.