Shortly after the arrest of Harish BV, first co-founder of Unocoin, Sathvik Viswanath, another co-founder of the virtual currency exchange company has also been arrested; leading to a complete halt on the operations.
Unocoin Technologies had created headlines when it had set up first bitcoin ATM kiosk at Kemp Fort Mall on Old Airport Road in Bengaluru, but within a week of installation the Central Crime Branch has arrested both the co-founders.
The co-founders were booked under several acts including computer related offences, conning, documentation forgery etc.
While several items including laptops, mobile phones, credit and debit cards, money, cryptocurrency device had been recovered in Harish BV’s arrest, only a laptop and a mobile was recovered in the latest arrest.
It is suspected by the police that Viswanath has destroyed evidence, transaction trails and customer information, stored in the laptop and phone.
Both co-founders have been booked under IT Act section 66 as well as IPC sections 120b, 420, 465, 471 and 474.
The ATM was deemed illegal as it was a platform for transacting bitcoins, while the RBI had banned crypto platforms and banks from dealing in virtual currency. However, Viswanath tried to defend himself by playing with words and saying it wasn’t a legal tender but not illegal.
The transaction process in the kiosk was cumbersome and asked for PAN and bank details, when banks clearly banned from dealing with cryptocurrency.
Police has urged people to not be tempted with the idea of making extraordinary profits as these are very risky prospects and make people vulnerable to largely criminal acts.
This development was first reported by ET.