India’s premier financial crime agency, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested one of the prime accused in the INR 1,200-crore fake cryptocurrency racket called Morris Coin busted by the agency in January this year.
According to ED sources, the accused is named Abdul Gafoor, a native of Malappuram, has been remanded in judicial custody by a PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act ) court in Kozhikode, reported The Indian Express.
Morris Coin was a non-existent cryptocurrency that offered a daily return of INR 270 for 300 days, subject to a minimum deposit of INR 15,000.
ED will approach the court to begin on Monday, the sources added.
Gafoor is the director of an inactive firm (shell company), Stox Global Brokers Private Limited, based in Malappuram. It was revealed that he had been duping people of their money by luring them with crypto investment offers and then investing the money in shell companies and real estate.
ED had identified K Nishad as the kingpin who duped 900 people. He is absconding and is hidden somewhere abroad. His properties in Malappuram have been attached by ED.
This case has been going on for more than 2 years now. Kerala Police had arrested Nishad in 2020 for the scam.
The agency took the case when last year after the police in Kannur and Malappuram districts registered several cases against Nishad and others under Section 420 (Cheating) of IPC as well as the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act and Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
As long as crypto is unregulated, fraudsters will keep preying upon innocent people. A regulatory framework will ensure that proper vetted investment channels are there.