City cyber police officers on Tuesday busted an online fraud racket and arrested four of its members – two each from Bihar and West Bengal. The accused would target people online under the pretext of providing them with a gas distribution agency and also availing grant of ₹30 lakh from the Government of India (GoI). They would take money from victims in the name of processing fees and cheat them. The accused had even created a fake government website.
The police have arrested Ravishankarkumar Ravidas, 36 and Dolly Sharma, 35 and after securing their transit remand brought them to Mumbai on Thursday night. Two more members of the group have been nabbed in West Bengal and are being brought to Mumbai.
The complainant in the case is a Goregaon (East) resident and works as a sales manager in a private company. In November last year, he came across an advertisement on a popular social media site about a gas distribution agency. Complainant clicked on the link and filled the form with his wife’s details and selected a reputed gas agency’s option.
Read more: Mumbai tops cybercrime frauds in 2019, Bengaluru ranks 2nd: National Crime Records Bureau
Two days later the complainant received a call from a person who identified himself as DK Varma, a relationship manager of a firm ‘LPG Vitrak Chayan’. Varma told the complainant that his application was approved and his firm will help him get the license for LPG distributorship and grant of ₹30 lakh from Government of India to start the agency, the police said.
Varma later asked the complainant to pay the fees for processing the registration, no objection certificate (NOC), license and contract document. As complainant wanted to move to his hometown in Bihar, post his retirement, he accepted the offer and made online payment of ₹3.66 lakh, the officer said.
When complainant received confirmation letter for the LPG gas agency it had a Mumbai address mentioned in it. For verification, the complainant visited the address and found it to be wrong.
The complainant then visited the website again, and after carefully inspecting the site discovered that the website was a fake one, and the accused used similar-looking name to cheat people.
The complainant then approached the cyber police officers. Police then arrested Ravidas and Sharma from Patna, to whom the bank accounts belonged.
Cyber police have arrested from West Bengal two more people linked to the racket.
Investigators suspect that the accused are members of an inter-state fraud racket.
Lawyer for the two accused, Ajay Umapati Dubey said, “Both of them have only given there accounts to be used for Rs 15000, which they needed for paying for their house rent. They have not paid rent since the lockdown started as they are jobless. They have no role in the crime.” On Friday the court remanded the two accused in police custody till January 7.
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