Five lakh Indians cheated of Rs 150 cr

New Delhi: In a massive crackdown on online fraud, the Delhi Police have arrested 11 people, and identified at least 10 Chinese nationals, who were running a syndicate to dupe people of their money through fake mobile investment applications.

Delhi Police’s Cyber Cell has busted the syndicate of Chinese nationals who were stealing data and have cheated over 5 lakh Indians of over Rs 150 crore via fake investment apps, informed Anyesh Roy, Deputy Commissioner of police of Cyber Crime Cell (CyPAD).

According to the police, 11 persons, including two Chartered Accountants were arrested in a crackdown on multiple financial investments and assured high return Apps run by Chinese nationals using Multilevel marketing (MLM) model for cheating.

Roy said, “Over 5,00,000 confirmed victims have been cheated of more than Rs 150 crores. Over Rs 11 crores has been frozen in banks by swift police action and Rs 97 Lakh cash has been recovered.”

These apps offered lucrative returns on investment with claims to double the investment amount in 24-35 days. They also had schemes promising returns on an hourly and daily basis, and had investment options starting from Rs 300 to several lakhs. One of the apps, Power Bank, was recently trending at No 4 on Google Play Store, cops said.

Roy stated that a large number of such Apps have been circulated by the fraudsters and some of these fraudulent, malicious Apps were also listed on Google Play Store. He said the names of several Chinese nationals have been revealed so far.

“Investigation in respect of their whereabouts, specific roles and their large fraud network is underway. According to the current estimates, the total cheated amount is around Rs 150 Crores and the total recovery so far in cash, bank accounts and payment gateways is around Rs 12 Crores. More than 5 lakh people invested their hard earned money in such apps,” he added.

Police said the owners of the app randomly approached people on Telegram, Dingtalk and WeChat. They would ask people to provide them with a bank account and shell companies to hide the money trail. Later, the app’s link was forwarded through bulk messages and on WhatsApp to several people. The victims were then offered schemes on the app with easy returns.

 

NT Bureau