Malad man duped of Rs 34 lakh in cyber scam, 16 held

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Malad man duped of Rs 34 lakh in cyber scam, 16 held

The cyber cell of the Mumbai police (North region) has busted a racket and arrested 16 people, including two bank employees, after a Malad-based man was duped of Rs 34.14 lakh, in the past fortnight.

According to police sources, the accused had duped the victim by luring him into investing money in e-commerce platforms—which turned out to be fake— on the promise of getting a sizeable commission.

The complainant invested Rs 26 lakh initially via a spurious application provided to him by the accused. Though he could see the ‘profits’ he had earned on the app, he could not withdraw the amount. He later paid the accused an additional sum in order to withdraw the money but after failing to do so even after a month, he realised that he had been cheated and lodged a complaint with the cyber unit in August.

Under the guidance of DCP Hemrajsingh Rajput, a special team was formed comprising Senior Inspector Vijay Chandanshive, API Sandeep Pachangne, Sanjay Pawar to investigate the matter.

The police managed to collect the complainant’s bank transaction details and learnt that money transferred from the complainant’s account went into more than 50 current accounts in 29 banks.

While police checked the documents under which these all accounts were opened, they turned out to be fake.

The officers then obtained the call detail records of all mobile numbers attached to the accounts and caught five accused from Mira Bhayander on October 20.
When they interrogated them, it was revealed they were mere pawns who were paid to open bank accounts with the help of fake documents and provide SIM cards. They used to receive Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 for opening a single account, said an officer.

The arrested bank staff worked for different organisations and had colluded with the accused to open the accounts.

“The mastermind is still at large and it has been revealed that they are operating and monitoring the racket from various states. We are searching for them,” the officer added.

“Five accused have been remanded in judicial custody while 11 are still in police custody,” said a cyber cell officer.

Advocates Afin Pathan and Rafique Gori, who are representing two of the accused, claimed that their clients are innocent and that they have been arrested just because they are friends of other arrested accused.

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