In an interesting week for crypto cybercrime, Indian authorities have released details of an arrest where a crime organisation called the ‘Flinstone Group’ hoodwinked 25 thousand investors to the tune of $70mln. It is said that Flintstone Group managing director Amit Lakhanpal and his chief accountant Sachin Shelar told investors they would make a nice return on a fake coin called MTC (Money Trade Coin) and of course the money never materialised.
It has been said that the scammers went to great lengths to convince investors of the legitimacy of the coin posing as Union Finance Ministry officials at one point with fake I.D. cards and backstories. It was said that they even participated in approaching the Delhi High Court to petition the central bank to reconsider its harsh stance against cryptocurrencies and as we all know buying cryptos in India has been a struggle.
Lakhanpal also attended events in Dubai where it was reported that the Saudi royal family attended to pitch his scam. He said that the coin would be accepted by the Ministry of Finance and the coin would be accepted as legal tender to conclude real estate deals. Also, the scammers also insisted to investors they had offices all over the world including UK, Singapore, Malaysia and Italy.
Back at their Indian HQ, 70 employees are still being investigated following the police bust. Police are now looking into the extent, if any, of their involvement in the group’s illegal activity. 53 laptops have been seized as well as rubber stamps for fake authentification of documents and the documents themselves. Lakhanpal and his chief accountant Shelar are now at large after leaving the country, it has speculated they are perhaps to Dubai or England, however, they are on the run and the case continues.