One Coin Scammers kidnapped and ransom demanded… One Coin not accepted as payment, though.

NEW DELHI: Three men abducted two people and demanded a ransom of Rs 36 lakh from their families. When the victims were rescued by the police, it was found that they had earlier duped the kidnappers of the same amount. All the five men have been arrested on charges of duping and kidnapping.

In September 2016, Manoj Aggarwal and Kushal Chopra took Rs 36 lakh from the other three, Aman Kumar, Pankaj Trehan and Akash Singh, promising to return double the amount.

According to the police, a woman came to the Shakarpur police station on January 12 and filed a complaint that her brother, Kushal, had not come back since 7.30pm on January 11. She also told the police that she received a ransom call of Rs 36 lakh. She also got some messages demanding money, she said. A case was registered on her complaint.

“The call details were taken out, and locations of the victim and the kidnappers were tracked,” said Omvir Singh, deputy commissioner of police (east). Based on the phone locations, police conducted raids in different areas. The accused kept changing their locations and switched off their phones after some time. However, they were finally traccked to east Delhi’s Laxmi Nagar on January 13. One of the accused, Aman, was apprehended and Kushal was rescued.

On being questioned, Kushal told the cops that Pankaj and Akash had called him to meet them in Connaught Place and later took him to a hotel in Gurgaon. More raids were conducted on the basis of the information gathered from Aman, and later Pankaj and Akash were also nabbed.

The men told the police that Kushal insisted that they should invest in a Bulgaria-based company, One Coin, which, they claimed, was registered under the Reserve Bank of India. Kushal then introduced them to his accomplice, Manoj, saying that he was the director of One Coin. They promised to double the deposited amount in three months. However, the three victims did not get any profit or the principal amount.

During interrogation, Manoj disclosed that he went to Hong Kong in August 2016 where he met the One Coin director, who made him the director to look after their business in India. A senior police officer said when they conducted a probe, they found that the company was causing huge losses to the Bulgarian government by using cryptocurrency that operates independently of a central bank.

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