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Businessman Thane loses Rs. 34 Lakh in Bitcoin trading with lucrative returns has been promised on WhatsApp Group


Police said on Monday that a 37-year-old businessman from Mira Road in Thane was defrauded of 33.65 lakh rupees after being duped into investing in bitcoins on the false promise of profitable returns.

The police registered a case against two persons under Section 420 (Fraud and dishonest abetment to hand over property) of the Indian Penal Code.

An official said the complainant contacted the defendants through a WhatsApp group. In February 2022, he received a letter from two people, including the group manager, asking him to become a bitcoin investor if he wanted attractive returns.

“The businessman agreed and invested the money. He got good returns at first, but later he incurred losses and stopped trading. But the accused called him and assured him that he would get guaranteed returns and demanded 20 percent commission. Later he saw an amount of $2,47,210 (approx. 2 crore) in his Bitcoin account, but he could not withdraw due to technical issues.”

Two days later, he received a message saying that the Bitcoin application had been frozen because “the contract has expired.” The two accused also became incommunicado, after which the businessman filed a complaint with the police.

No one has been arrested yet and investigations are still ongoing.

Bitcoin, which is a virtual currency, is not regulated in India and its circulation has been a concern among central banks across the world since quite a while now. The Reserve Bank of India has also warned users, owners and dealers of virtual currencies, including bitcoins.

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Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.