Police on Tuesday arrested 16 people who were involved in an online gaming fraud which was being operated from Dubai. The raid took place in a building near Gautam Buddha Nagar.
According to the local police, the accused hailing from Jhansi, Lucknow rented a three storied building in Noida Sector-108. The accused used to park their vehicles on the ground floor. The first floor was always kept vacant and the second floor was their place of stay and the third floor was the place where all the scam operations used to take place. The accused always kept the main gate locked while coming inside and going out of the building and hence the local people had no idea of what was going on.
“They used to commit the fraud through Mahadeva App, which is available on Google Play Store and social media platforms. First, they used to get their apps downloaded (on the users’ phones), then offered small deals, like a return of Rs 600 for Rs 500 etc. In this way, they successfully got the victims to bet larger amounts in lakhs of rupees, and after receiving the amount, they used to switch off their phones. This is a huge fraud and we are developing a proper trail and chain.” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Noida) Harish Chander as reported by Indian Express.
“The accused used around 15-16 saving bank accounts and 12-14 current accounts. They used to ask for money in their savings account, transfer it to the current account and then siphon it off. We are investigating who received the money and where it was spent. As of now, we have frozen around Rs 1.5 crore. Apart from these 16 people, there are nine others; among them, one Sachin Soni is the head.”
A person named Saurabh Chandraker was the mastermind behind the whole scam. He was the one who used to give directions to Sachin while the other eight people used to operate from different remote locations in India.
“Some of them visited countries like Nepal, Hong Kong, and Thailand and got training from Dubai. We are investigating what type of training they received. This fraud has been going on for the last one-and-a-half months,” said DCP Chander as reported by Indian Express.
The police officers also recovered 12 laptops, 73 smartphones, six passbooks, 19 cheque books, 58 ATM cards, 58 sim cards, six passports, 60 identity cards (Aadhaar/Pan Card), two four-wheelers and two scooters. Furthermore, in the last two months, close to INR 405 crore was transferred from 26 fake bank accounts to other bank accounts.
According to the police, the gaming scam is currently active in 11 different countries including Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka etc. They also registered a case under the Indian Penal Code(IPC) and IT Act at the Sector-39 police station in Noida.