The mastermind of the multi-crore cryptocurrency racket- Kashh Coin, Asif Ashrak Malkani(35), has been arrested by Delhi Crime Branch. Ever since numerous investors have had lodged complaints against him and his associate was taken into custody in 2017, Malkani has been absconding for over 9 months.
Malkani and his associate Sonu Dahiya reportedly created a fictitious cryptocurrency and dubbed it as ‘Kashh Coin’. After duping a number of investors into lucrative schemes, the duo ran off with all the money. Though Dahiya was captured by the Delhi police, Malkani managed to escaped, until now.
Reportedly, Malkani shifted his base to Uttar Pradesh during the last one month or so. While on the run he planned to dupe builders and businessmen and was gearing up to launch another equally fictitious virtual token, V-flix. The supposed altcoin was tied to some sort of service in his own “commercially viable video streaming website” to be dubbed as V-Tube. The investigation further revealed that Malkani didn’t just stop at this, he was also operating a fictitious firm called ‘Puneet Enterprise’ and was observing huge monetary transactions from its account.
The Kashh Coin Fraud
In October 2016, Malkani launched his fake currency and in a bid to cheat investors, Malkani and Dahiya threw a lavish launch party at a farmhouse Chhatarpur on December 3, 2017. The grand function to market the coin included performances and presence of various Bollywood celebrities and models.
At the time, the currency was priced at Rs 3.5 per coin. The successful launch in Delhi encouraged the gang to expand their horizon by organizing several other ‘Youth Seminar‘, in different parts of the country and in Nepal. After collecting crores of rupees in lieu of high returns, the duo went underground ingesting all the money.
When the hoard of investors, who claim to have been robbed a total of $33,000 USD, lodged a complaint against the token, the cyber cell of started investing. Sonu Dahiya was caught soon, but Malkani managed to evade.
Dahiya aka Narendra revealed to the authorities, during the investigation that Kashh Coin was built as a Ponzi scheme, naming Malkani as the mastermind of the game. Crime Branch DCP Bhisham Singh told the press after Dahiya’s interrogation:
“Malkani and his associates also organize lavish seminars in different places, including Nepal, Mumbai, Gujarat, Chandigarh, Raipur, and Nagpur, for business promotion. At these seminars, they would claim that the rate of this coin will cross the cost of Bitcoin.”
Malkani’s Brief History
The accused told the cops that he finished his Class X in 2000, and decided to quite studies. After discovering a knack for computers he started to learn how these things work. In 2007, he got married and shifted to Dwarka, Delhi in 2013. He revealed that before fooling investors via Kashh coin, he was involved in the Unetenet Ponzi scheme, launched in 2013.
Upon reading up on the cryptocurrency market and exchanges he started buying and selling such coins. After some time he realized he could easily create a fake cryptocurrency and the rest is a well-played out fraud.
Similarities with the Bitconnect Scam
The fraud carries an uncanny similarity with the bitcoin scam that has rid investors of almost 22,000 crores. The mastermind of this scam Amit Bhardwaj was arrested in April 2018, in Bankok after months of evasions. Bhardwaj ran multiple Ponzi schemes and aided his schemes with paid celebrity endorsements that lured in multiple potential victims. Following his arrest, Bhardwaj has agreed to compensate victims of his schemes.