ED attaches property worth Rs 98 crore of Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra in Rs 6,600 crore Bitcoin scam 

18 April,2024 03:56 PM IST |  Mumbai  |  mid-day online correspondent

ED has issued a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to attach Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra`s properties. 

Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra Pic/AFP

It's been months since Raj Kundra dropped wearing his extravagant masks to hide his face from the paparazzi following his jail time in the Mumbai porn racket case, and now the businessman and his star wife Shilpa Shetty have landed themselves once again on the crime radar. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday said it has attached a bungalow and a flat, apart from equity shares, worth about Rs 98 crore of Shilpa and Raj in connection with a money-laundering case linked to the Rs 6,600 crore Bitcoin scam.

As per PTI, the federal agency has issued a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to attach the couple's properties.

Shilpa and Raj's legal representative said no prima facie case has been made out against his clients and that they would cooperate with the authorities.

The money-laundering case stems from FIRs lodged by the Maharashtra Police and Delhi Police against a company named Variable Tech Private Limited, late Amit Bhardwaj, Ajay Bhardwaj, Vivek Bhardwaj, Simpy Bhardwaj, Mahender Bhardwaj and several multi-level marketing agents who are alleged to have collected huge amounts of funds in the form of Bitcoins (worth Rs 6,600 crore in 2017) from the public with the "false promise" of 10 percent monthly return in the form of Bitcoins.

The ED alleged that Bitcoins were supposed to be utilised for mining and investors were supposed to get huge returns in crypto assets. Still, the promoters "cheated" them and have been concealing the "ill-gotten" Bitcoins in obscure online wallets.

Kundra, the agency alleged, received 285 Bitcoins from the "mastermind" and promoter of the Gain Bitcoin Ponzi "scam", Amit Bhardwaj, for "setting up a Bitcoin mining farm in Ukraine".
These Bitcoins were sourced out of the "proceeds of crime" collected by Amit Bhardwaj from gullible investors, it said.

"Since the deal did not materialise, Kundra is still in possession and enjoyment of 285 Bitcoins which are presently valued at more than Rs 150 crore," the ED claimed.

Shilpa tied the knot with businessman Raj Kundra on November 22, 2009. In May 2012, the two became parents to a son Viaan. And in February 2020 the couple welcomed Samisha, who was born via surrogacy.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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