Chinese national held at border quizzed in UP
Chinese national Junwei Han, the alleged kingpin of an illegal money transaction racket who was arrested by Border Security Force (BSF) while illegally crossing the India-Bangladesh border on June 10, was brought to Lucknow on Friday for interrogation, said senior UP Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) officials.
The alleged racket involved illegal money transactions after opening online accounts in banks using fraudulently activated SIM cards, the officials said. It was busted by UP ATS in January this year.
The officials said the ATS approached the BSF authorities after coming to know about Han’s arrest and brought him to Lucknow on Friday. They said Han’s name surfaced after Chinese national Sun Ji Ying, 35, was arrested from Gurugram, Haryana, in connection with the illegal money transaction racket on January 27. Before that, ATS had arrested two Chinese nationals Xu Xunfu alias Julahi and Pochnli Tengli alias Alice from Gautam Buddh Nagar in the same matter on January 24.
A senior ATS official said the ATS sought the custody remand of Han from the ATS court in Lucknow in order to interrogate him. He said the decision about his custody remand was still pending.
He also said Han, a resident of Beijing, reached Delhi by illegally entering India through the porous India-Bangladesh border two years ago.
He said Han, along with Sun ji Ying who was in the country on a business visa till January, and two other Chinese nationals had procured over 1800 fraudulently activated SIM cards. He said these SIMS were used by different people for illegal online money transactions.
The official said the role of Chinese nationals’ involvement had surfaced after the arrest of 14 people, who were allegedly providing pre-activated SIMs illegally, from different parts of the state
on January 17. He said the racket was involved in money-laundering and the possibility of terror funding behind it could not be ruled out. He said the ATS was probing the motive behind illegal money transactions.
Another ATS official said the Chinese nationals arrested were in regular touch with another person in China through an instant messaging application for illegal money transactions. He said the racketeers misused relaxations offered in banking services for the common man during the pandemic. In this period, people were allowed to open their online bank accounts through their mobile phone numbers, without visiting the banks.
A senior ATS official explained that at least two SIM cards could be issued in a day on one person’s identity proof. Some SIM card retailers and distributors used to get two SIM cards activated when any person approached them for a SIM card without letting the person know about the second card.
The online bank accounts also have the facility of mentioning one beneficiary other than the account holder. The beneficiary could withdraw money from the ATM machines by getting one-time passwords sent to their registered mobile numbers.