Director of illegal global online lottery company arrested in Mumbai

Police say company has global presence, duped governments in 7 Indian states; mastermind still at large

mumbai Updated: Mar 25, 2018 00:31 IST
Vijay Kumar Yadav
Vijay Kumar Yadav
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,lottery,cybercrime
The owners of the company allegedly used to manipulate the software to ensure that the numbers on which customers bet never win.(REPRESENTATIONAL PHOTO/HT FILE)

Three days after minister of state for home (urban) Dr Ranjit Patil in the legislative council announced a crackdown on the illegal lottery business, city crime branch officials arrested the director of Game King India Private Limited, an illegal lottery company that allegedly duped the government in seven states (including Maharashtra) in India. The company runs a similar illegal lottery business in 15 other countries across the globe, the police said.

Police probe revealed that the company, which is believed to have an annual turnover of Rs200 crore, uses a software system to run the lottery business. The owners of the company allegedly used to manipulate the software to ensure that the numbers on which customers bet never win. The founder and managing director of Game King Private Limited, Achal Chaurasia and his father Ramesh Chaurasia are still wanted in the case. Sources said that soon a procedure to get look out circulars (LoC) issued against them would be initiated.

A senior crime branch officer confirmed the arrest of Rajendra Sahu, a Delhi resident, on Friday. According to the Cyber police officials, Sahu, who is a frontman for the main accused Achal Chaurasia, is not forthcoming about how the entire fraud works. Sahu was closely associated with the main accused and knows how the system functions, but is not cooperating in the probe, officials said.

Explaining the case, a crime branch officer said that officials of the Juvenile Aid and Protection Unit (JAPU) and Social Service Branch (SSB) on February 26, this year raided two stalls in South Mumbai, and arrested eight people who were running and playing the illegal lottery. Police sources said that the players activate their accounts after paying a minimum of Rs1,000. The accused had developed a software in which the customers are bound to lose the game.

“JJ Marg police had first registered a case, which was later transferred to the SSB. The case was recently transferred to the Cyber police station and officers there are given the task to crack the technical system on which their business runs and also to dig information on their main server from where these games had been activated across the globe,” says a crime branch officer.

Like JJ Marg police, earlier multiple cases were registered against the accused at various police stations in Mumbai like, Nagpada, Samata Nagar, Kandiwali and in Delhi, Ludhiana, Faridabad, Nagpur, Noida, Firozpur, Indore, Ujjain, Dhar, Jalandhar and Meerut.

Indore police had even last year arrested the Achal and Ramesh Chaurasia for duping people in Madhya Pradesh through the same illegal lottery.

The police have also blocked the illegal online lottery on internet. The arrested accused Sahu and wanted accused Achal and Ramesh Chaurasia have been booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, Lotteries (Regulation) Act and Maharashtra Prevention of Gambling Act for cheating, and illegally running lottery causing revenue loss to the government. A local court has sent Sahu to police custody up to March 27.

First Published: Mar 25, 2018 00:31 IST