Hyderabad: Hyderabad police on Saturday claimed to have detected Rs.712 crore investment fraud by Dubai-based Chinese operators and arrested nine people in this connection.
Hyderabad Police Commissioner C. V. Ananda said the nine accused from Mumbai, Lucknow, Gujarat and Hyderabad were suspected to have links with fraudsters from Dubai and China.
Police believe that the gang cheated gullible investors in the country to the tune of Rs 712 and routed this money to China through Dubai in the form of crypto currency.
During the investigation, the police found that a portion of the amount also got transferred to a crypto wallet used by a terror outfit. The police chief said since there was a need for a thorough probe with coordination at the national level, the case would be brought to the notice of the Centre.
The Cyber Crimes Unit which busted the racket also seized 17 mobile Phones, two laptops, 22 sim cards, four debit cards, documents pertaining to 33 companies, three Bank cheque books, 12 currency notes and 6 coins of Chinese Yuan currency and one passport.
Those arrested are Prakash Mulchandbhai Prajapati, Kumar Prajapati, Naimuddin Wahiduddin Shaik, Gagan Kumar Soni, Parveez alias Guddu, Shameer Khan, Mohammed Munawar, Shah Sumair and Arul Dass.
The investment fraud has been busted during the investigation after a resident of Hyderabad lodged a complaint with Cyber Crime Police that he lost Rs 28 lakh to the fraudsters. The complainant was offered a part time job of “Rate and Review” via telegram app. He believed it to be genuine and registered on their website https://www.traveling-boost-99.com.
Initially he was given simple tasks to give 5 star rating to one set of 5 tasks by loading/investing a smaller amount of Rs 1,000 and he earned Rs 866 profit.
Every time he loads/invests money his invested amount is displayed in a window like an online wallet which shows options like Invest money, withdraw money, perform tasks etc.
Next time he was given 4 sets of 30 tasks each to be rated, for which the victim needed to load the wallet with money initially and then to rate.
In the first set he loaded with Rs 25,000 and earned a profit of Rs 20,000 on the website, but the victim was not allowed to withdraw the profit. When questioned, he was told that he has to complete all the 4 sets of tasks to get the profit.
The victim invested higher amounts in the subsequent sets. When he wanted to withdraw profits, he was asked to pay 17 lakhs as withdrawal fee.
During the course of investigation it was found that Rs 28 lakh that the victim lost was transferred to 6 accounts including an account maintained in the name of Radhika Marketing and from there the money was transferred to various other Indian bank accounts and finally in Dubai the fraudulent money was used to purchase crypto currency.
The account in the name of Radhika Marketing was being maintained by Munawar of Hyderabad. Investigations revealed that he along with Arul Dass, Shah Sumair and Shamir Khan went to Lucknow on the instructions of Manish, Vikas and Rajesh, who all are residents of Lucknow, to open bank accounts in the names of shell companies with an offer of Rs 2 lakh per account.
They opened 33 shell companies and 61 accounts in the name of companies and handed over the same to Manish. Manish had hired Gagan for web designing of the companies and Nayeem to coordinate with the account holders. After opening the accounts he sold the accounts to Kumar Prajapati, an associate of Prakash Prajapati.
According to police, Prakash Prajapathi, a resident of Ahmedabad is associated with Chinese Lee Lou Guangzhou, Nan Ye, Kevin Jun etc. He was coordinating with the Chinese in supplying Indian bank accounts and shares the OTPs for operating these accounts from Dubai/China through remote access apps.
The Chinese masterminds, as per the police, were running this entire system of task based investment frauds. They are the ones running these scams and luring the victims by sending messages over Telegram.
The defrauded was credited to Primary Shell/Mule bank accounts being supplied by Prakash Prajapati, layered to some secondary bank accounts to hide the proceeds of crime. Finally it was sent to the Chinese.
Prakash Prajapati was coordinating with his other associates, Arif, Anas, Khan Bhai, Piyush and Sailesh etc who are the residents of Mumbai, settled in Dubai in converting the fraudulently gained Indian rupees to USDT (Crypto) and transfer the same to Chinese. For every fraudulent transaction in these accounts Prakash Prajapati was paid 2-3 per cent commission.
Police found that Prakash Prajapati was transferring part of his commission through Hawala to give the same to the account suppliers with the help of Kumar Prajapathi and he was rooting a major portion from China by importing electric bikes.
Police found that Prakash Prajapathi is using a Tron coin wallet address for getting his commissions to be paid in USDT or TRON. These crypto wallet transactions in his wallet have crypto transfers to another wallet address, which in turn has been found to have transaction linkages with two other crypto wallets including Hezbollah wallet (labeled as wallet belonging to Terror Financing Module), police said.