A special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Hyderabad arrested Malik, the ED said on Tuesday. “There are more than a thousand victims in Hyderabad. Some of them paid Rs 20,000 each to Malik. The money was taken to Georgia and Armenia. Hyderabad police have registered a case,” ToI quoted ED as saying.
The probe agency took Malik into custody on September 10 from Tihar jail where he was lodged in connection with a case probed by Delhi police Economic Offences Wing (EOW). The EOW arrested him in May this year for duping over a thousand people on the pretext of making investments in Rosneft.
The total proceeds of the crime were Rs 52 crore.
Malik along with his accomplices, Sunil Singh Chauhan and Sandeep Kaushik, vowed 20 per cent returns per month to people on the pretext of parking their money in Rosneft hedge fund. They also launched two crypto coins ‘RHFCOIN’ and ‘RHFGOLD’.
“The accused collected crores of funds from people all across India and laundered it by investing the same in cryptocurrencies, largely bitcoins. Subsequently, the accused and his accomplices siphoned off the funds,” the ED said, adding that further investigations have been launched to unearth the actual amount.
Malik and his accomplice Sandeep were first held in February 2018 by the cyber cell of Crime Branch, Delhi. A Haryana resident who paid 27 bitcoins to the directors of Rosneft hedge fund for extraordinary returns had lodged a complaint against them.