Telangana police bust interstate crypto trading racket in Bengal

Telangana police bust interstate crypto trading racket in Bengal
Source: IANS

Hyderabad, Nov 6 (IANS) The Rachakonda Police in Telangana on Saturday claimed to have busted an inter-state gang which duped people in the name of online crypto trading.

The sleuths of Cyber Crimes wing of Rachakonda Police Commissionerate arrested three accused, all residents of West Bengal. One of them is a bank employee.

The main accused, also from West Bengal, is absconding.

According to the police, Chota Bhai alias Deepu Mondal used names of various shell companies which never existed and fleeced victims in the name of investment and later exchanged the amounts by purchasing crypto currency.

The Rachakonda Police Commissionerate is one of the three police commissionerates covering Hyderabad and its suburbs.

Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat said the arrests were made during investigation after a victim lodged a complaint. Bhanothu Kiran Kumar, a resident of Narapally, Ghatkesar, was cheated to the tune of Rs 86 lakh.

The police seized five mobile phones, six SIM cards, three bank cheque books, six ATM cards of different banks. An amount of Rs 50 lakh in the bank accounts of the accused was also frozen.

According to police, the main accused along with Nurl Alam Haque, a bank employee in Siliguri district of West Bengal, opened 64 different bank accounts and procured various SIM cards in the name of gullible villagers with the help of two other accused.

Ekram Hussain and MD Ijarul helped the main accused in procuring the ID credentials of the villagers by offering them petty commissions and collected their ATM cards, cheque books and Internet banking credentials and used the same for crediting fraudulent amounts transferred by the victims.

Chotu Bhai and Nurl contacted the victims using virtual numbers and lured them and made them deposit money into various accounts in the name of 'crypto investments'. Once the money got credited in the accounts, the accused used to purchase crypto currency through Zebpay.

The investigation revealed that the accused created 14 shell companies for cheating gullible victims

They had contacted Kumar in September through WhatsApp using virtual numbers and lured him to invest in crypto currency. Believing them, he invested Rs 50,000 and as he earned a profit of Rs 10,000, they convinced him to make more investments for higher profit.

A police team led by investigating officer N. Ramu visited West Bengal on November 3 and arrested Ijarul, who is the crypto account holder (Zebpay) and on the basis of his inputs, Nurl and Ekram were arrested.

The arrested were taken to Matigara Police Station of Siliguri and after completing the legal formalities were brought to Hyderabad and produced before a magistrate, who sent him to judicial remand.

The Police Commissioner advised people, especially netizens not to get lured by such online investment offers by the cyber criminals.