Bitcoin scam: ED attaches bungalow, equities worth Rs 98 cr of actor Shilpa Shetty, husband Raj Kundra

The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday attached assets worth Rs 98 crore of actor Shilpa Shetty and her husband Raj Kundra in the bitcoin ponzi scam case. The attached assets include the actor’s bungalow in Juhu

The ED in a statement said it has attached assets worth Rs 98 crore, including a bungalow in Pune and equity shares, of the couple as part of a money laundering investigation pertaining to cheating of investor funds through the use of bitcoins.

“The attached properties include a residential flat in Juhu (Mumbai) presently in the name of Shetty and a residential bungalow in Pune and equity shares in the name of Kundra,” the federal agency said in a statement. A provisional attachment order has been issued under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to attach these properties worth Rs 97.79 crore, it said.

“ED, Mumbai has provisionally attached immovable and movable properties worth Rs 97.79 crore belonging to Ripu Sudan Kundra aka Raj Kundra under the provisions of PMLA, 2002. The attached properties include a residential flat situated in Juhu presently in the name of Smt. Shilpa Shetty, residential bungalow situated in Pune and equity shares in the name of Raj Kundra,” the central agency tweeted. 

The money laundering case stems from FIRs of the Maharashtra Police and Delhi Police against a company named Variable Tech, Late Amit Bhardwaj, Ajay Bhardwaj, Vivek Bhardwaj, Simpy Bhardwaj, Mahender Bhardwaj and number of agents, where it was alleged that they had collected huge amounts of funds in the form of Bitcoins (worth Rs 6,600 crore in 2017) from gullible public with the false promises of 10 per cent per month return in the form of Bitcoins. “The promoters cheated the investors and have been concealing the ill-gotten Bitcoins in obscure online wallets,” the ED alleged.

Kundra, it claimed, received 285 Bitcoins from the mastermind and promoter of the Gain Bitcoin Ponzi scam Amit Bhardwaj for setting up bitcoin mining farm in Ukraine. “Kundra is still in possession of 285 Bitcoins which are presently valued at more than Rs 150 crore,” the ED said. 

According to police, Ajay Bhardwaj and Mahendra Bhardwaj, the main accused in the case are still on the run. ED arrested a Dubai-based businessman Nikhil Mahajan in January this year in connection with the case. Mahajan allegedly promoted the ponzi scam among investors in Dubai and collected 40 bitcoins. 

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