The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached assets worth Rs 14 crore in relation with the Morris Coin cryptocurrency scam under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), officials told India Today.
Included in the attached assets are the bank account balances of Flywithme Mobile LLP, a company owned by Nishad and Hasif K, the promoters of the scam, and the immovable properties of Nishad K's accomplices that were allegedly acquired with the profits of the scam.
In addition to the bank account, the attached assets consist of a hospital in Kochi and 52 acres of agricultural land in Tamil Nadu.
The ED began a money-laundering investigation against Nishad K and others on the basis of multiple police station FIRs accusing them of defrauding individuals under the guise of offering huge returns of 2 per cent to 3 per cent each day.
The ED said in a statement "During the course of the investigation conducted under PMLA, it has been ascertained that Nishad K via his various firms such as Long Rich Global, Long Rich Technologies, and Morris Trading Solutions collected deposits from the investors in the guise of Initial Coin Offer for the launch of Morris Coin Crypto Currency. By conducting promotional events in the presence of celebrities, introducing the investors to flashy websites, and by the provision of e-wallets to each investor via web-based applications, Nishad K has collected deposits from the investors via various pin stockists."
The money was allegedly moved into the bank accounts of Nishad K and his company. According to ED, the collected funds were then stacked into the scam businesses.
Previously, the ED had attached movable and immovable properties worth Rs 36.72 crore. In connection with this case, the ED detained Abdul Gafoor, Managing Director of Stoxglobal Brokers, in March 2022.
What is the Morris Coin scam?
As the primary perpetrator of the cryptocurrency scam, Nishad K, a resident of Malappuram, Kerala, announced the Initial Coin Offering of 'Morris Coin,' a new cryptocurrency token, in 2020.
900 people reportedly invested in the ICO, in which investors paid Rs 15,000 for 10 Morris Coins and were required to keep the tokens for 300 days in cryptocurrency wallets provided by the promoters, after which the token was supposed to be listed on a Coimbatore-based cryptocurrency exchange, 'Franc exchange.' The promoters guaranteed that once the tokens were listed, their value would skyrocket.
In actuality, the tokens did not exist and were never listed on any markets or exchanges. Furthermore, the Morris Coin promoters took off with all the money raised and invested it in immovable properties in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and other states.
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