Himachal Cryptocurrency scam: Fugitive kingpin Subhash Sharma formed 5 shell companies to ‘adjust’ investments

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In the investigation of the multi-crore cryptocurrency scam amounting to approximately Rs 1,740 crore in Himachal Pradesh, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has uncovered five shell companies created by fugitive kingpin Subhash Sharma. These companies – Soymans India Pvt Ltd, UBB Associates LLP, UBB Records LLP, Subro Technologies Pvt Ltd, and Him Jan Sewa Foundation – were registered with the Registrars of Companies (ROC) in Chandigarh, Delhi, and Himachal Pradesh. Sharma is believed to have escaped to Dubai in May this year. Soymans India Pvt Ltd, based in Zirakpur, Mohali, dealt with food products; Subro Technologies Pvt Ltd in Sector 20, Panchkula, was involved in creating multimedia websites; UBB Associates in Royal Estate, Zirakpur, focused on construction business; Him Jan Sewa Foundation in Mandi engaged in social welfare activities; and UBB Records LLP in Juneja Square, Zirakpur, dealt with retail trade and repair of personal and household goods. These companies, formed between February 2020 and May 2021, had Subhash Sharma and other accused as directors. The SIT, headed by DIG Abhishek Dular, obtained relevant records from the ROC offices and discovered numerous money transactions between these companies from 2020 to 2022. Multiple individuals, including Hemraj Thakur, Sukhdev Thakur, Amit Pardeep Singh, and Radhika Sharma, all directors in these companies, along with 15 others including four Himachal Pradesh police personnel have been arrested. “The five companies were incorporated between February 2020 and May 2021. Kingpin Subhash Sharma is shown as the director with other accused in all five companies. We have obtained the relevant records of these companies from the offices of Registrar of Companies (ROC) in Chandigarh, Delhi, and Himachal Pradesh. Many chequebooks, passbooks, etc related to these five companies were recovered from the registered offices and residences of accused personnel. Hemraj Thakur, Sukhdev Thakur, Amit Pardeep Singh, and Radhika Sharma, etc were also shown as directors in these companies. They are all arrested. The SIT has found scores of money transactions from the accounts of one company to others and vice-versa between 2020 and 2022,” DIG, Northern Range, Dharamshala, Abhishek Dular, told The Indian Express. The cryptocurrency scam came to light when Independent MLA Hoshyar Singh raised the issue during the monsoon session in September. Himachal Pradesh CM Sukhdev Singh Sukhu ordered the formation of an SIT led by DIG Abhishek Dular. Nineteen suspects, including four Himachal Police personnel, have been arrested. Notably, Sukhdev Thakur, who won the ‘Nelson Mandela Nobel Peace Award-2023’, was among those arrested. The investigation revealed that over a thousand police personnel had invested in cryptocurrencies, Korvio Coin and DGT Coin, with some opting for Volunteer Retirements to become full-time investors. Approximately 2.5 lakh people fell victim to the promise of “11 per cent returns” on investments in the fraudulent cryptocurrencies Korvio Coin (KRO) in 2018 and DGT Coin in 2020. Based on 350 complaints received on a dedicated helpline launched on October 19, 2023, most victims are from Kangra, Mandi, Hamirpur, and Una districts of Himachal Pradesh, many having invested compensation money from the government for land acquisitions in various road projects.

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