The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has seized nearly ₹1 crore in cash during searches at the Delhi premises of alleged impersonators masquerading as Canadian government officials who coerced their victims into transferring their assets to cryptocurrency on the pretext of providing technical support consultations.

The cash was seized from accused Sahil Pal after the sleuth swung into action post registering an FIR on May 11, a CBI spokesperson said on Wednesday. The CBI worked on local intelligence and conducted surveillance on the basis of inputs, and a search operation was initiated on Tuesday at the premises of two accused - Sahil Pal and Ashish Bhambani, the officials said

It was alleged that Pal and others have been impersonating as government officials of Canada to carry out their fraudulent activities. “Their modus operandi involved providing fake technical support consultation to unsuspecting victims and then coercing them into transfering cryptocurrency funds. These ill-gotten cryptocurrency assets were subsequently routed through multiple crypto wallets, ultimately ending up in the perpetrators’ own crypto accounts,” the spokesperson said.

The CBI had launched crackdown on imposters in the past as well, with the most significant cases being registered last year against persons posing as officials from the Prime Minister’s Office. The agency had registered three FIRs against Prince and Shiva Kumar after they received complaint from the PMO. It said that an IPS officer posted in Chandigarh was approached by a person claiming to Rohit Yadav, joint secretary in the PMO, who was soliciting transfer of a police constable.