The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday questioned businessman Raj Kundra, husband of Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty in connection with the Rs 2,000-crore GainBitcoin case.
According to officials, the ED interrogated Kundra about his involvement in the trade, termed illegal by the government.
Though ED officials did not elaborate further regarding the interrogation process, they found some instances of Kundra's involvement in the Rs 2,000-crore money laundering case and hence asked him to record his statement.
Later in the day, addressing media persons, Kundra said that he was summoned by the ED as a witness and is not a suspected in the Bitcoin case.
"ED called me as a witness. There is an Amit Bhardwaj, who is s involved in some scam. He had purchased poker team from our poker league but did not make payment so we expelled his team. I have given my statement," ANI quoted the businessman as saying.
ED called me as witness. There's an Amit Bhardwaj, who's involved in some scam. He had purchased poker team from our poker league but didn't make payment so we expelled his team. I've given my statement: Raj Kundra, Businessman who was called by ED in connection with Bitcoin scam pic.twitter.com/nQIuS2iNPc— ANI (@ANI) June 5, 2018
Earlier in April, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against GainBitcoin, its owner Amit Bhardwaj, his brother Vivek and seven others. The case was filed following an FIR by the Maharashtra Police in this case.
They allegedly cheated about 8,000 investors, who lost about Rs 2,000 crore funds by transacting on several portals, launched by them. Bhardwaj and his brother are also accused of diverting funds to China, Dubai and Hong Kong where they claimed to have crowd-funded cryptocurrency mining business.
Bhardwaj, who reportedly was behind ventures like GainBitcoin, GBMiners, MCAP and GB21, earlier was arrested by the Pune police from Delhi along with his brother.
Earlier, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced that government does not consider cryptocurrencies legal tender and will take all measures to eliminate the use of these crypto assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system.
The declaration came during Jaitley's annual budget speech on February 1.
The Centre had also cautioned investors to be wary of virtual currencies such as bitcoin, saying they are like Ponzi schemes with no legal tender and protection.