The Special Investigation Team (SIT) conducted raids in various Himachal Pradesh locations linked to the Korvio Coin (KRO) cryptocurrency scam, the largest of its kind in the region.
According to a report on 29 October, SIT initiated searches in 41 areas, including Kangra, Una, Bilaspur, Mandi, Hamirpur, and Solan.
The raids led to the apprehension of Abhishek Sharma, one of the principal suspects who had been evading authorities.
In connection with the fraudulent activities initiated in 2018, Abhishek Sharma, a resident of Una district, was identified as one of the key figures implicated in the scam.
$25 Million Crypto Scam
Over a period of five years, started in 2018, the cryptocurrency scam in Himachal Pradesh trapped numerous investors, leading to losses surpassing ₹200 crore ($25 million).
The fraudulent operation initially introduced Korvio coin, asking purchasers to pay an activation fee for the promise of substantial profits.
The scammers enticed users with the prospect of high returns, initiating a cycle where investors paid an activation fee and were encouraged to recruit others, sustaining the Ponzi structure.
To deceive investors, the fraudsters utilised counterfeit websites and manipulated coin prices.
Subsequently, they launched DGT Coin, manipulating prices before executing a significant rug pull.
Under various company names such as ‘Hypenext’ and ‘Aglobal,’ new coins and investment plans emerged, each marketed as a fresh opportunity for investment.
In 2023, the police received 50 complaints about similar cryptocurrency scams in Himachal Pradesh, indicating a consistent pattern of operation across cases.
Evidences Found from the Investigation
Initiated in September, the investigation was launched by the Himachal Pradesh government through the SIT, aiming to probe the alleged ₹400 crore cryptocurrency scam.
Findings from the SIT’s investigations indicate that at least 100,000 individuals fell victim to the fraudulent activity, with the discovery of multiple IDs associated with the same individual.
The accumulated documentation has significantly propelled the SIT’s progress in uncovering the intricate layers of the scam, which enticed individuals with the prospect of lucrative investment returns.
In Search of the Mastermind
Abhishek Sharma, one of the main suspects in the 2018 scam, was brought before the district court by the SIT.
The police statement confirmed that Abhishek Sharma was placed in police custody for five days.
Meanwhile, ongoing efforts by the police to apprehend Subhash Sharma, the mastermind behind the 2018 Korvio Coin scam, are in progress.
Reports suggest that Subhash is currently evading authorities and is allegedly taking refuge in Dubai.