Mastermind of ₹2.5 crore Delhi cryptocurrency scam arrested

Umesh Verma and his son Bharat made people invest in a scheme with a promise of monthly fixed returns between 20 and 30 per cent

The Delhi police arrested a 60-year-old man, the alleged mastermind of a cryptocurrency scam, who siphoned off at least ₹2.5 crore from some 45 people.

The Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi police nabbed Umesh Verma on Thursday (December 31) at the Indira Gandhi International Airport on his arrival from Dubai. The  police said Verma was earlier a jeweller and a greeting card-maker in Delhi and had escaped to Dubai in 2018 after duping a number of people.

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Verma was arrested on the basis of a case filed against him on September 18, 2020.

Police said Umesh Verma, his son Bharat Verma and a few others made people invest in a scheme named Pluto Exchange, with a promise of monthly fixed returns between 20 and 30 per cent.

The police said Pluto Exchange was operational since 2017 and resembled a “chit fund”. The company issued units of a cryptocurrency called Coin Zarus in return for investments, and promised that the value of these units would increase several times.

Very soon, the funds dried up and post-dated cheques issued by Pluto Exchange began to be dishonoured.

Verma was untraceable since then and he kept changing his address before escaping to Dubai where he planned to start a new venture.