Law authorities in the Indian state of Odisha successfully dismantled a crypto Ponzi scheme valued at $120 million (Rs 1000 crore). Reports unveiled that the state police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) arrested two key individuals at the core of the fraudulent operation, which spanned India.
Upon receiving information from multiple sources regarding an alleged cryptocurrency-associated Ponzi scheme running in Odisha, India, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) initiated a case. An inquiry was then set in motion based on the received intelligence.
The Solar Techno Alliance (STA) Crypto Token was central to the Ponzi scheme. The investigation uncovered that STA, with the assistance of specific upline members, exhibited increased engagement in these districts. They utilized diverse persuasive strategies to urge individuals to join the scheme, enticing them with assurances of profits, all within a brief timeframe.
The members had even started incorporating the STA token into regular transactions as an accepted currency. An evaluation revealed that this initiative had attracted more than 10,000 individuals from Odisha.
Key Figures Connected To The Crypto Ponzi Scheme Arrested
The state police have apprehended pivotal individuals responsible for orchestrating the nationwide fraud. Moreover, the primary suspect in the case has also been taken into custody.
Gurtej Sigh Sidhu, the leader of STA Token, and Nirod Das, the head of the Odisha unit, were both arrested by the police. Reports have identified numerous victims across various Indian states, including Delhi, Jharkhand, and Rajasthan, who were allegedly enticed into participating in this scheme.
EOW Odisha, JN Pankaj, stated:
Approximately 2 lakh people are members of this. The people were told to invest in crypto coins and gather more and more members. The people were assured that they will get a bonus and their money would be doubled and tripled.
Furthermore, the investigation unveiled that STA lacked authorization from the Reserve Bank Of India, the Indian Central Bank, and even other regulatory bodies to amass deposits. Operating under the guise of a Crypto token venture, STA runs an extensive Ponzi scheme, exploiting terminologies such as green energy and solar technology.
Numerous Fishy Elements Uncovered?
STA was launched in September 2021, boasting an official-looking website and a YouTube channel. The mastermind behind the crypto scam was discovered to be frequently changing locations, including places like Goa, Lonavala, Mumbai, Delhi, Faridkot, Bhatinda, Hanumangadh, and Sri Ganganagar.
Law enforcement, however, managed to track these movements. Moreover, the fraudulent network indulged in extravagant celebrations and distributed bonuses to those in the up-line. Just a week ago, a lavish gathering was held in a luxurious star hotel in Goa, with more than 1000 attendees, as revealed by the police.
The leadership within the network was given names such as Pearl, Ruby, Emerald, Topaz, Diamond, Pink Diamond, Blue Diamond, Black Diamond, The Hope Diamond, and Koh-I-Noor, varying based on the number of subordinate members under them and STA coin holdings.
Interestingly, during the investigation, it was discovered that the STA website was hosted in Iceland. However, its operational focus remained confined to just India.
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