The CBI seized about Rs 1 crore in cash during its searches at the premises of alleged fraudsters impersonating Canadian government officials who coerced their victims into transferring their assets to cryptocurrency on the pretext of providing technical support, officials said on Wednesday. The CBI received inputs about the alleged fraud from the Canadian authorities, following which it registered a case on May 11, they said.
The CBI worked on local intelligence and conducted surveillance on the basis of inputs, and a search operation was initiated on Tuesday at the premises of two accused — Sahil Pal and Ashish Bhambani, the officials said.
“CBI conducted searches at different places at the premises of the accused in an ongoing investigation of a case related to Crypto frauds. During searches, a cash of Rs 1 crore (approximately) was recovered from the premises of an accused,” a CBI spokesperson said.
It was alleged that the accused were impersonating government officials in Canada and utilising this facade to execute their fraudulent activities, the agency said.
“Their modus operandi involved providing fake technical support consultation to unsuspecting victims and then coercing them into transferring cryptocurrency funds. These ill-gotten cryptocurrency assets were subsequently routed through multiple crypto wallets, ultimately ending up in the perpetrators’ own crypto accounts,” the spokesperson said.