Breaking News: ED Seized Rs 98 Crore Property Of Raj Kundra Including Pune Bungalow Registered To Shilpa Shetty In Fraud Case

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Sumit Singh

Pune, 18th April 2024: In a significant development, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in Mumbai has provisionally attached properties valued at approximately Rs. 97.79 Crore owned by businessman Ripu Sudan Kundra, popularly known as Raj Kundra. These actions come under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, due to his alleged involvement in a multi-crore Bitcoin Ponzi scheme orchestrated by Amit Bhardwaj and others.

The seized assets include a luxury residential flat in Juhu registered in the name of Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty, a residential bungalow in Pune, and several equity shares held by Raj Kundra. The crackdown follows a detailed probe linked to multiple FIRs lodged by Maharashtra Police and Delhi Police against Variable Tech Pte Ltd and several individuals, including the late Amit Bhardwaj, his relatives, and various multi-level marketing (MLM) agents. These parties are accused of duping the public by collecting over Rs 6600 Crore in 2017, promising exorbitant monthly returns of 10% from Bitcoin investments.

The investigation unearthed that Kundra received a substantial sum of 285 Bitcoins from Amit Bhardwaj, the mastermind behind the Gain Bitcoin scam, purportedly for establishing a Bitcoin mining operation in Ukraine. These Bitcoins, now worth over Rs. 150 Crore, were directly sourced from the fraudulently obtained funds from unsuspecting investors and remain in Kundra’s possession.

Previously, the ED conducted several search operations related to this case, resulting in the arrests of Simpy Bhardwaj, Nitin Gaur, and Nikhil Mahajan, who are currently under judicial custody. However, primary accused Ajay Bhardwaj and Mahendra Bhardwaj are still at large.

The agency had previously attached properties worth Rs 69 Crore and has been rigorously pursuing legal actions, with a prosecution complaint filed in June 2019 and a supplementary complaint recently in February 2024. The Special PMLA court has acknowledged these filings, and the investigation is ongoing.