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Mumbai ED Provisionally Seizes Rs. 97.79 Crore Worth of Properties Belonging to Raj Kundra under PMLA

The Mumbai Zonal Office of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has provisionally seized properties valued at Rs. 97.79 Crore belonging to Ripu Sudan Kundra, also known as Raj Kundra, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002. These properties include a residential flat in Juhu, currently under the name of Smt. Shilpa Shetty, a residential bungalow in Pune, and equity shares in the name of Raj Kundra.

The ED’s investigation began after multiple FIRs were lodged by the Maharashtra Police and Delhi Police against various individuals, including M/s Variable Tech Pte Ltd, Amit Bhardwaj, and others, accusing them of collecting substantial sums of money, primarily in Bitcoins (amounting to Rs. 6600 Crore in 2017 alone), from unsuspecting individuals by promising unrealistically high returns of 10% per month in Bitcoins.

These collected Bitcoins were supposed to be invested in Bitcoin mining, with investors expecting significant returns in cryptocurrency. However, the perpetrators allegedly deceived investors and concealed the ill-gotten Bitcoins in obscure online wallets. The investigation found that Raj Kundra had received 285 Bitcoins from Amit Bhardwaj, the mastermind behind the Gain Bitcoin Ponzi Scam, for the purpose of establishing a Bitcoin mining farm in Ukraine.

Despite the deal falling through, Kundra retained possession of the 285 Bitcoins, now valued at over Rs. 150 Crore. The ED’s earlier search operations led to the arrest of three individuals—Simpy Bhardwaj, Nitin Gaur, and Nikhil Mahajan—who are currently in judicial custody. The main accused, Ajay Bhardwaj and Mahendra Bhardwaj, remain fugitives. Previously, the ED had attached properties worth Rs. 69 Crore, with the Prosecution Complaint filed in 2019 and a Supplementary Prosecution Complaint filed in February 2024.

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