150-crore online fraud: 3 more arrested in racket floated by Chinese

Updated on Jun 16, 2021 10:55 AM IST

The case is being probed by the Cyber Prevention, Awareness and Detection centre (CyPAD) of the Delhi Police. Investigators said the company secretary, identified as Rajni Kohli, who is in her forties, created 36 shell companies, appointed “dummy directors and other employees” and shared the bank account details of the companies with the Chinese nationals.

The total number of arrests made in the cheating case has reached 15.(HT Archives. Representative image)
The total number of arrests made in the cheating case has reached 15.(HT Archives. Representative image)

Three more people, including a company secretary working in a private firm in Gurugram, have been arrested in connection with the cheating case where over half a million Indians were duped of over 150 crore in two months through an online multilevel marketing (MLM) racket allegedly floated by some Chinese citizens in connivance with their Indian counterparts, police said on Tuesday.

The case is being probed by the Cyber Prevention, Awareness and Detection centre (CyPAD) of the Delhi Police.

Investigators said the company secretary, identified as Rajni Kohli, who is in her forties, created 36 shell companies, appointed “dummy directors and other employees” and shared the bank account details of the companies with the Chinese nationals. The accounts were used for receiving money from investors and routing it further to other accounts managed by the syndicate’s masterminds based in China, said police.

The other two arrested men, identified as Ibrahim (25) and Ram Ujagar (50), were “dummy directors” of different shell companies launched solely for the purpose of operating the cheating racket. The three were arrested between June 10 and June 13 from different areas in west and southwest Delhi, said the officers investigating the case.

“The company secretary (Kohli) was directly in touch with the Chinese nationals. She had met two-three of them when they had visited India earlier this year. She created 36 shell companies in five to six months, appointed employees and fulfilled other procedures for opening bank accounts and obtaining online payment gateways. The details of the companies and the accounts were further shared with the masterminds in China. Ibrahim worked with her and was also in touch with the Chinese nationals,” said a senior investigator, who did not want to be named.

With this, the total number of arrests made in the cheating case has reached 15. “At least a dozen people, including five to six Chinese citizens who are the masterminds of the racket have been identified but are yet to be arrested,” said police.

In a press conference held on June 9, deputy commissioner of police (CyPAD) Anyesh Roy had said the Delhi Police busted a nationwide fraud syndicate operated by Chinese nationals had duped over half a million investors after offering them lucrative returns on an online multilevel marketing campaign through their two “malicious mobile applications” Power Bank and EZPlan.

The Power Bank app was available on Google Play Store, while the EZPlan app was available on the website www.ezplan.in. “The fraudsters posted the schemes on social media and offered to double the invested amount in 24-35 days. The apps also offered returns on an hourly and daily basis and had investment options starting from 300 to several lakhs,” said Roy.

While details of 11 arrested fraudsters were shared in the conference, a 40-year-old owner of a Noida-based telecom company dealing in international SIM cards and internet data packs was arrested a day later for allegedly supplying 27 pre-activated Indian SIM cards to the Chinese nationals. The names of the company secretary and the two dummy directors emerged during the investigation and interrogation of the 12 arrested people, said investigators.

Police said the footprint of the syndicate was confirmed in West Bengal, Delhi-NCR, Uttarakhand, Bengaluru, Odisha, Assam, and Surat. Nearly 11 crore accumulated by the group was blocked in various bank accounts and online payment gateways that were being operated by the members of the syndicate based in India and China. Around 97 lakh was recovered from two arrested chartered accountants, one of whom has been identified as Avik Kedia, who formed over 110 shell companies for Chinese fraudsters to route the money through multiple bank accounts, said DCP Roy.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Karn Pratap Singh has been writing on crime, policing, and issues of safety in Delhi for almost a decade. He covers high-intensity spot news, including terror strikes, serial blasts and security threats in the national capital.

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