Indian Law Enforcement Arrest Key Suspect in GainBitcoin Scam Year After Mastermind’s Death

The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) has arrested Simpy Bhardwaj aka Simpy Gaur, wife of Ajay Bhardwaj in the ongoing money laundering investigation in the country’s largest crypto ponzi scam GainBitcoin. With current bitcoin price, the entire scam is estimated to be in mutli-billion dollars.

The main accused Ajay Bhardwaj and Mahender Bhardwaj managed to escape from their residence before police could reach and are currently absconding. A source close to the matter revealed that it was Simpy that helped her husband and father in law to abscond and threw away the mobile phone when ED caught her at residence.

Earlier last week, the Supreme Court, responding to a petition filed by Ajay Bhardwaj, issued a directive for a CBI investigation into the case. Simultaneously, the court instructed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to persist with its ongoing inquiry under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.

 

The mastermind of the massive fraud Amit Bhardwaj passed away in police custody in 2022, leaving investigations open-ended and victims hopeless. However, the recent arrest of the deceased mastermind’s brother’s wife could give the investigation a new life.

Sources close to the matter revealed that Simpy was handling crypto wallets that held illicitly gained bitcoins from the victim and helped her husband Ajay Bhardwaj and father in law – key suspects in the multi-billion dollars scam – to abscond. Ajay Bhardwaj is currently out on bail.

Earlier, ED had attached properties worth 70 crore INR ($8.4 million) and has sought assistance from foreign countries in the ongoing investigation into the country’s biggest crypto ponzi fraud.

GainBitcoin Collected Thousands of Bitcoins from Victims

As per the official release, ED initiated investigation on the basis of multiple FIRs registered by Maharashtra Police and Delhi Police against Variable Tech Pte Ltd, Late Amit Bhardwaj and his friends and family members and other MLM agents.It has been alleged that they had collected huge amounts of funds form of Bitcoins, somweher around worth 20,000 crore INR ($2.4 billion) from victims with the false promises of 10% per month return in the form of Bitcoins.

ED investigation further revealed that the crypto-proceeds of crime generated out of this scam were transferred to various overseas companies and used for purchasing properties abroad. ED investigation also revealed that Smt Simpy was actively involved in generating, concealing and layering the proceeds of crime.

Court Grants ED Custodial Interrogation for 8 Days

ED investigation further revealed that the crypto-proceeds of crime generated out of this scam were transferred to various overseas companies and used for purchasing properties.

Simpy was actively involved in generating, concealing and layering the proceeds of crime. A search operation was conducted under PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) at the residence of Simpy and Ajay Bhardwaj. During the course of search action, Simpy was placed under arrest and brought to Mumbai on transit remand and then she was produced before the PMLA Special Judge on Monday. The court has granted ED custodial interrogation for 8 days.

The law enforcement agency also seized high end cars including Mercedes and Audi Q3 and jewellery worth hundreds of thousands in cash was also seized.

India has seen a significant increase in crypto frauds amid lack of proper regulations in the country.