ED seizes Raj Kundra’s assets worth Rs 97 crore, Shilpa Shetty’s beloved Juhu flat also seized

The roots of the entire money laundering case can be traced right to the homegrown FIRs filed by both the Maharashtra Police and the Delhi Police against Variable Tech Pvt Ltd

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) made the headlines on 18th April by seizing over Rs 97-core worth of assets from businessman Raj Kundra which is a landmark arrest in a money laundering investigation. This step is aligned with Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.

Among all these seized belongings are the impressive residential flat in Juhu of Mumbai that Kundra’s wife, the famous Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty owns. Along with that, a calm residence at Pune was also among the seized ones. The gist of the case is that investor funds were misappropriated with money transfer using Bitcoin being observed. The ED has made a quick response, ordering a confiscation of assets of Rs 97.79 crore using the PMLA act.

The roots of the entire money laundering case can be traced right to the homegrown FIRs filed by both the Maharashtra Police and the Delhi Police against Variable Tech Pvt Ltd, a company and several individuals, including Amit Bhardwaj, Ajay Bhardwaj, Vivek Bhardwaj, Simpy Bhardwaj, Mahender Bhardwaj and agents.

These allegations revealed that a certain amount of bitcoins valued at Rs.6,600 crore in 2017 were raised from investors who were lured and persuaded in the scheme via a promise of a monthly return at 10% in form of bitcoin. Throughout the ED’s investigation, attention was brought upon the fact that Raj Kundra was responsible for receiving 285 bitcoins from Amit Bhardwaj, the same person who was behind the Gain Bitcoin Ponzi Scam.These bitcoins were intended for establishing a bitcoin mining farm in Ukraine. Shockingly, these bitcoins were derived from illicit funds collected by Bhardwaj from trusting investors.

The ED official gave a statement saying, “Wherein it has been alleged that they had collected huge amounts of funds in the form of bitcoins worth a 6,600 crore in 2017 from the gullible public with the false promises of 10% per month return in the form of bitcoins. The collected bitcoins were supposed to be utilized for bitcoin mining and investors were supposed to get huge returns in crypto assets. But the promoters cheated the investors and have been concealing the ill gotten bitcoins in obscure online wallets,since the deal didn’t materialise, Mr. Kundra is still in possession of 285 bitcoins which are presently valued at more than 150 Crore.”

The main suspects, Ajay Bhardwaj and Mahendra Bhardwaj, are still on the run. The ED launched its investigation in 2018 based on cases filed by the Maharashtra and Delhi police against Variable Tech and others. This ongoing pursuit highlights the human toll of financial crimes and the urgency of bringing those responsible to justice.

In January, the agency apprehended Delhi-based businessman Nikhil Mahajan regarding the case. Allegedly, Mahajan aided the accused in spreading and promoting the alleged scam through seminars in Dubai to entice investors, purportedly receiving 40 bitcoins in return. At today’s rates, one bitcoin can be worth Rs 51 lakh approximately. People tend to forget that bitcoins are not the medium of payment in law yet. This episode highlights the risks that cryptocurrency misuse and fraudulent investment schemes can bring, and the possible consequences. This gesture by the ED clearly indicates that the financial misdeeds and fraudulent matters that exploit the investors will not be tolerated.

you might also be interested in – Enforcement Directorate arrests woman in ₹6,600 crore Bitcoin ponzi scheme, seizes luxury cars and jewellery

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