In one of the major hauls, the Bengaluru city police on Tuesday claimed to have busted a syndicate which allegedly cheated people of Rs 158 crore by promising them work-from-home jobs.
According to Central Crime Branch (CCB) officials, among those arrested are Amir Sohail and Inayat Khan from Bengaluru, Syed Abbas Ali, Nayaz, and Adil from Hyderabad, Mithun Manish Shah, Naina Raj, Satish, and Mihir Shashikanth Shah from Mumbai. Two more suspects remain at large, they added.
Bengaluru city police commissioner B Dayananda said, “The suspects played various roles within the operation, ranging from the establishment of mule accounts to their operation and engagement with potential targets. However, the masterminds behind this intricate network have yet to be identified”.
Under the guise of providing easy earnings from home, the suspects used dubious phone numbers to communicate with potential victims via platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram. After they convinced them to invest, they directed them to complete simple tasks such as liking YouTube videos or installing apps, promising monetary rewards upon completion.
While the victims saw their digital wallets being credited at various stages, complications arose when attempting to withdraw funds. The victims came to know they had fallen prey to a scam after realising these digital accounts were fake, prompting them to file police reports.
The investigation, initiated following a complaint from a Vidyaranyapura resident who lost Rs 18.5 lakh, led CCB officials to freeze Rs 62.8 lakh across 30 bank accounts. Further scrutiny revealed that these suspects were implicated in a staggering 2,143 cybercrime cases reported across 28 states through the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal (NCRP).
Of these cases, 265 were lodged in various districts of Karnataka, with Bengaluru alone accounting for 135 cases across 14 police stations.