Cryptocurrency India’s biggest scam is continuing to unravel to public as murkier network of scammers stealing money nonstop for cryptocurrency investment on a market that promising a huge on profit.

On 05, British businessperson Raj Kundra husband of Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty was questioned by India’s enforcement directorate (ED). He was allegedly involved in a scam that saw Amit Bhardwaj, founder of bitcoin firm GainBitcoin, reportedly duping investors of around Rs2,000 crore ($300 million).

What is scam?

It is essentially a Ponzi scheme that affected over 8,000 Cryptocurrency bitcoin investors in India. Kingpin Bhardwaj is a software developer and former Infosys employee jumped on to cryptocurrency bandwagon.

He owns and runs multiple cryptocurrency operations, but his most venture, GainBitcoin, is what is in eye of storm. Founded in 2013, GainBitcoin—now apparently shut—operated a multi-level marketing scheme in which Cryptocurrency bitcoin investors were promised massive returns on investments, besides bonuses for bringing in other Cryptocurrency investors. At one point, Bhardwaj had around 100,000 Cryptocurrency investors on the network and managed to set up as an expert in field by writing on cryptocurrencies and procuring celebrity endorsements, including by Shetty herself.

Bhardwaj also launched his own first Cryptocurrency coin offering (ICO), similar to a first public offering at market, with a bitcoin-like product named MCAP in 2017.

Soon, however, complaints began pouring in from Cryptocurrency investors weren’t receiving promised returns. Unable to contact company and withdrawing their Cryptocurrency investments, a few of them launched an online Change.org campaign against Bhardwaj and his firm in April 2017.

Bhardwaj, though, left India for Dubai and later for Bangkok. He was arrested in New Delhi in April this year. Investigations into Bhardwaj’s transactions and  Cryptocurrency scam are now on.

What does Raj Kundra have to do with this?

Kundra’s name popped up after ED reportedly found links between Bhardwaj and Match Indian Poker League, a franchise-based poker tournament promoted by businessman’s company, Viaan Industries.

Briton denied allegations of helping Bhardwaj launder money issue from Cryptocurrency scam. In a statement to Times of India newspaper, he said:

This is to clarify that I have no involvement or connection in bitcoin scam whatsoever. I was summoned by ED merely as a witness. An inquiry is underway and I am cooperating with law enforcement agency as Bhardwaj is an acquaintance and protocol is being followed. Bharadwaj was to buy a team in the poker league and got into a contract with us. But due to non-payment, his contract was terminated. I have come as a witness to the same.

This isn’t first time he’s been found in murky waters. In 2013, Kundra, owned Indian League cricket team, Rajasthan Royals, was caught in a betting scandal and barred from any cricket-related activities for life.

Tip of iceberg

These developments come at a time when number of cryptocurrency scams in country is on the rise.

Initially, they were carried out at a smaller scale, involving criminals hacking into peoples’ accounts or conducting fraudulent transactions. In April, for instance, nine police officers in western Indian state of Gujarat were arrested for kidnapping a and extorting from him for a value of 200 bitcoins.

But Bhardwaj’s alleged shenanigans have taken matters to another level. And that too when India’s cryptocurrency ecosystem come under increasing scrutiny. Narendra Modi government and country’s top court are yet to take the last call on legality of cryptocurrencies in India, even as Reserve Bank of India made its displeasure with these virtual monies known repeatedly.

uncovering of massive scam now do industry no favors.