Eight members of a Pakistan-based syndicate have been arrested in Delhi for cheating several people to the tune of lakhs of rupees through a fake lottery scheme, police said on Monday.
Police said the gang would trap people by imitating executives of the television programme 'Kaun Banega Crorepati', hosted by actor Amitabh Bachchan, and would target Indian nationals through telephone calls.
"They would tell victims they had won a lottery amounting up to Rs 20-30 lakh based upon the selection of their cell phone number in a random draw and to further corroborate would claim that the prize would be paid to them on the sets of 'Kaun Banega Crorepati' itself," said a policeman.
"The gang would then call people who are interested with a Pakistani number and tell them to pay a percentage of the lottery amount for processing the claim," said Rajiv Ranjan, deputy commissioner of police (Special Cell).
To convince their victims, the conmen gave details of an Indian bank account for depositing the processing fee.
As soon as the victims deposited the money, Indian associates of the gang would withdraw the money.
Police officials claim the arrest was made on a complaint filed on October 6 from Delhi.
The arrested members are Umer Ali, 36, Rakesh Raut, 30, Ahmad Hussain, 23, Vikas Kumar Sah, 22, Saroj Kanta Sutar, 22, Mahendra Kumar Singhal, 57, Naresh Bansal, 38, and Ravi Kumar Gupta, 43.
To hide their identity and ensure smooth functioning of the scam, the gang had opened several bank accounts to collect money, a policeman said.
The police recovered Rs 4.1 lakh, 134 ATM cards of different banks, around 300 bank slips, 10 mobile phones, a record of transactions and pass books of various banks from the accused.
Officials suspect that the money collected from the scams was being used to plan anti-national activities against India.