The investigation into a huge Indian multi-level marketing scheme which began a year ago has come to an abrupt end as the victims of the theft have failed to come forward.
On October 12 last year, the Indian Express reported the arrest of Subhashchand Jewria by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police.
The report stated:
Jewria floated a multi-level marketing scheme, enticing investors by offering 10 percent cash back per month on the invested amounts and also assuring incentives like a paid family holiday to Singapore, high-end cars like Jaguar, Mercedez Benz and others.
Jewria founded ATC Coin Ltd and registered it as a private limited company at Covent Garden, London with a paid-up capital of 1 pound in May last year, for the purpose of selling his cryptocurrency. The same address was later discovered to be home to another 9,000 registered shell companies.
The charges Jewria faced upon his arrest included cheating, criminal breach of trust, and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code. Jewria allegedly brought in 840 million INR, ($12.9 million) in investor funds through his ATC Coin which turned out to be a pyramid scheme. The money was then diverted into a complex network of personal bank accounts and property investments in India and around Asia.
Victims Refuse to Come Forward
In the intervening one year period since the events came to light, the investigation has been rendered unable to proceed any further because Jewria’s victims have mostly chosen not to speak out.
The Indian Express reports:
During investigation, the agency came across a couple of investors who could have invested in ‘ATC Coin Ltd’. However, when the EOW approached them asking for the details of losses they had incurred, none of them came forward.
Some speculate that the refusal to step forward is owing to their awareness of the fact that India’s central bank passed a nationwide ban on cryptocurrency businesses. Understandably, these victims might consider themselves to be in a position of legal jeopardy if they come forward, potentially admitting to breaking the law.
Speaking to the Indian Express, a police officer who declined to be named said:
Since the case deals with cryptocurrency and in the absence on proper law and regulation, investors are scared that if they come forward, they might face a lot of scrutiny. While we managed to trace a few of investors, they did not lodge any complaint. The case has been stuck since then.