Asif Ashraf Malkani, the accused mastermind behind a multi-million-dollar scam that targeted scores of prospective Indian cryptocurrency investors, has been arrested by police in New Delhi. According to local media, Mr. Malkani ‘launched’ the fictitious cryptocurrency ‘Kassh Coin’ during 2016, before promoting the coin during December 2017 at “a grand function held at a farmhouse in Chhatarpur” that saw “Bollywood celebrities and models” enlisted to “perform and market the coin” at the event. Investors paid 3.5 Indian Rupees ($0.047 USD) per Kassh Coin.
Mr. Malkani is said to have sought to go into hiding after many of the scammed investors contacted police, however, he was caught after relocating to Uttar Pradesh and attempting to launch another cryptocurrency called ‘V-flix’.
Investigations have revealed that Mr. Malkani was also seeking investment to launch a “commercially viable video streaming website” called V-Tube, and has been identified as moving a significant sum of money through a firm named “Puneet Enterprise.”
Police Commissioner, Ajit K Singla, stated that the arrest and investigations into the operations of Mr. Malkani and his companies were carried out by a team led by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Bhisham Singh.
Commissioner Singh has stated that Mr. Malkani began operating a multi-level marketing scheme in 2015 after joining advertising Unetnet alongside his wife, before becoming interested in cryptocurrencies the following year.
The investigations also uncovered that Mr. Malkani and company organized a number of “youth seminars” across India and Nepal following the success of their farmhouse event in 2017. Since then, Mr. Malkani made his way through Goa, Chennai, Kolkata, Kanpur, and Pune whilst attempting to evade law enforcement.