India arrests two more OneCoin promoters

Prabodhan

India has continued its coordinated clampdown on OneCoin.

OneCoin is a pseudo digital currency that is been marketed through the sales of educational packages. Some levels of the package are then exchanged for tokens. There is no exchange for these tokens apart from OneCoin’s DealShaker eCommerce site.

According to Thehindu.com, a local news site, two people have been arrested by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) Unit-1 team of the Navi Mumbai crime branch.

They are namely: Amit Kedia (32), a Delhi resident, and Nayan Patel (28), a resident of Ahmedabad. Their arrest was effected between May 8 and May 12 respectively.

The Hindu.com quoted Tushar Doshi, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch), who said, “Patel had left the country and we issued a lookout notice to the Airports Authority of India seeking his detention. He had traveled to Hong Kong from Dubai and was nabbed at the Mumbai International Airport while trying to re-enter the country.”

It would be recalled that India had started the first phase of the clampdown last month when 18 OneCoin promoters were arrested at a seminar they organized to woo investors into the scheme. The Hindu.com said Keida and Pael were named as the 19th and 20th accused. Mary Beyance from Mauritius and Ereena Andreva Belkinska from Bulgaria have been named as the main accused.

The EOW hopes to arrest more people as investigations into the the money trail proceeds. Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale has formed a special investigating team, comprising four Assistant Police Inspectors and 15 personnel, under Senior Police Inspector Shivaji away.

Mr. Awate said, “The money trail of the one coin scam led us to two accounts named Premium payment solution. One account had ₹19 crore and the other ₹5 crore. Kedia was the director of the first account, but owned just 0.1% of the money. He was made director because as per Indian government’s rules, a foreign investor needs a Indian director as partner while opening a bank account.

“Kedia was not aware of the transaction, but he grew suspicious. He wrote to the bank informing his resignation as the director of the account and requested the bank to freeze the account. After keeping the account under observation for six months, the bank froze the account in February. Unable to make transactions, the main accused based in Mauritius and Bulgaria opened the other account. The ₹5 crore has been seized.”

Later, an accused approached Patel and secured permission to use his account to transact business. Patel was promised a monthly commission. Mr. Awate said, “Patel was unware of where the money was being deposited into his account. But he observed that money was deposited frequently and transferred or withdrawn immediately. Money was not kept in the account for a long period.” The EOW has frozen 35 accounts used to deposit money into the account.

It is not clear what charges the Indian authorities will be pressing against all the accused. Throughout Asia, India remains the most ‘brutal’ in confronting OneCoin.

Other countries have also outlawed the sales, promotion or companies associated with OneCoin. Germany has taken strong stands against the scheme. The country’s top financial regulator, BaFin has issued several orders against all OneCoin affiliated companies and agents to leave the shore of the country.

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