The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday summoned Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty’s husband Raj Kundra at their Mumbai office in connection with an alleged bitcoin scam, news agency ANI reported. Kundra was reportedly summoned by ED for his alleged links with fraudster Amit Bhardwaj. There is still no official confirmation on the role of Raj Kundra in this case. Touted as a bitcoin entrepreneur, Bhardwaj allegedly duped more than 8,000 people to the tune of Rs 2,000 crore from across the country. He was arrested at the Delhi Airport in April this year. He had introduced India’s first online marketplace accepting bitcoin in 2014 and also owns a couple of bitcoin mining operations such as Gain Bitcoin and GB Miners. Kundra allegedly promoted one of the platforms held by Bhardwaj, reported India Today.
Bhardwaj had reportedly incorporated a multi-level marketing scam by luring investors to offer him bitcoins in lieu of higher returns. He had introduced a contract valid for 18 months, offering a return of 10%. Bhardwaj also promised to facilitate the bitcoin mining hardware to investors following which they can mine their own bitcoins.
Failing to get them any returns, Bhardwaj fled the country and was later located by the Pune police in Bangkok. Seven others were also arrested with him.
This isn’t the first time when Kundra has landed in trouble. He had earlier admitted to placing bets in the Indian Premier League and has been serving a life ban from all cricket-related activities. In March, he filed a petition in Supreme Court challenging the ban. Rajasthan Royals, a franchise he co-owns, was also banned for two years and made a comeback in the recently-concluded IPL season.
Earlier this year, Kundra had accused actor Sachiin Joshi of non-payment of dues. Kundra had alleged that Joshi had bought a team in Indian Poker League (a tournament started by Raj Kundra) but his cheque for Rs. 40 lakh had bounced. Meanwhile, Sachiin accused Raj of ‘rigging the tournament’ because of which, he backed out.