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Businessman Raj Kundra’s properties worth nearly ₹ 100 crore seized

Mangalore Today News Network / NDTV

New Delhi, April, 18, 2024: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized properties worth ₹ 97.79 Crore belonging to Raj Kundra in probe linked to a Bitcoin Ponzi scam. Raj Kundra is the husband of Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty.

Shilpa Shetty Raj Kundra

The attached properties include a residential flat located in Juhu, currently registered in the name of Shilpa Shetty, a residential bungalow in Pune, and equity shares owned by Raj Kundra.

A Ponzi scheme is a fraud where investors are promised huge profits at little or no risk. But the money is not invested. Instead, the conman focuses on luring more people and pays profits to the initial investors with funds from more recent ones.

The ED launched a probe based on multiple complaints filed by Maharashtra and Delhi Police against Variable Tech Private Limited, late Amit Bhardwaj, Ajay Bhardwaj, Vivek Bhardwaj, Simpy Bhardwaj, Mahender Bhardwaj and others.

The investigation alleges that the accused  collected approximately ₹ 6,600 Crore in Bitcoins in 2017 by deceiving investors with promises of 10% monthly returns through Bitcoin investments. The promoters cheated the investors and have been concealing the ill gotten Bitcoins in obscure online wallets, the ED alleged.

During investigation, the probe agency learnt that Raj Kundra had received 285 Bitcoins from Amit Bhardwaj, the mastermind behind the ’Gain Bitcoin’ Ponzi scheme. These Bitcoins were intended for establishing a Bitcoin mining farm in Ukraine. However, the deal did not materialize, leaving Mr Kundra in possession of the Bitcoins, currently valued at more than ₹ 150 Crore.

Raj Kundra has been arrested in 2021 in a case involving production and distribution of pornographic films using a subscriber-driven mobile app called ’Hotshots’. He got bail in that case by the Supreme Court.

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