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Umesh Verma, Dubai-based cryptocurrency racket kingpin, arrested

Umesh Verma was escaping the law on charges of cheating and misappropriation of funds obtained under the guise of cryptocurrency trading

Friday January 1, 2021 7:46 PM, IANS

Cryptocurrency Racket

New Delhi: In a big success, the Economic Offences Wing (EoW) of the Delhi Police nabbed the Dubai-based kingpin of a 2.5 crore cryptocurrency racket from the Indira Gandhi International airport.

The accused Umesh Verma, 60, was escaping the law on charges of cheating and misappropriation of funds obtained under the guise of cryptocurrency trading.

Since 2017, Verma, along with his son Bharat, allegedly cheated at least 45 victims in the national capital by promising them handsome returns by investing in the virtual currency. They assured the complainants fixed returns between 20%-30% per month on their investment in the Pluto Exchange Crypto Currency.

Websites, Promotional Videos

The accused Umesh Verma opened an office at a prominent location in Connaught Place and induced the complainants to invest in the scheme of Pluto Exchange Crypto Currency in November 2017. He hosted attractive websites and uploaded promotional YouTube videos to induce the victims.

The father-son duo operated the websites www.plutoexchange.com and www.f2poolmining.com where the victims were asked to register.

However, post-dated cheques issued to them were dishonoured on presentation. Subsequently, they closed their offices and ran away. Accused Umesh Verma changed his residential addresses frequently to avoid the victims and finally shifted to Dubai.

In September a case u/s 420/406/409/120-B IPC was registered at EOW.

"It was a modern-day version of a chit fund scheme, in which virtual currency as security was to be issued with promise of hig returns. Coin Zarus in the form of cryptocurrency were issued by the accused's company, has no legal authenticity. The RBI has already banned such type of coins and currency in virtual form," said OP Mishra, Joint CP EOW.

Investigations revealed that the accused Umesh Verma was the sole proprietor of M/s Pluto Exchange formed for the fraud. He is the authorized signatory in bank accounts opened in the name of the above firm with different banks.

The police recently arrested Verma from IGI Airport as soon as he landed from Dubai. He failed to provide reasonable answers regarding the cryptocurrency ventures, the amount received as well as how it was utilised in the bank accounts being operated by him.

"The accused was arrested after a detailed interrogation. Further investigations are on to unearth the entire conspiracy, recover the siphoned off money and identify the role played by the other accused involved in the fraud," the officer added.

A Delhi University graduate, Verma tried his luck in the jewellery and greeting cards business. However, he suffered huge losses. He was earlier arrested in a gold smuggling case by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence in December 2017.

After cheating gullible victims in the cryptocurrency scam, he ran away to Dubai and started a new business of trading in essential commodities since 2018 under the name Bharat Umesh General Trading LLC, Dubai. Verma in on three days police remand and further investigations are on.


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