Odisha Crime Branch’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) has unearthed a cyber fraud that was involved in duping several people of crores of rupees. The EOW has found that the fraud is being operated from Dubai.
In a press release, the EOW said: “During investigation, EOW, has frozen 17 bank accounts involved in this fraud. Further steps are being taken to identify the real mastermind of this scam and the fraudsters sitting in Dubai.”
The EOW said it started the investigation after one Ratna Tripathy of Nayapalli, Bhubaneswar, lodged a complaint about being cheated of Rs 1.5 lakh.
The EOW said: “Tripathy received a phone call (VoIP call) from a person who introduced himself as an employee of FedEx, Hyderabad, and told her that a parcel containing six passports, one laptop, five ATM cards, 150 grams of narcotic drugs had been sent to her and has been intercepted by NCB Mumbai officials.”
The EOW said when she denied sending or ordering any parcel, the caller asked her to come down personally to the Narcotic Bureau Cell, Mumbai, to clarify her point and said if she cannot attend physically, she can be connected to Gill of Narcotic Bureau, Mumbai, over Skype.
“Accordingly, she connected to Skype, and a person who introduced himself as Gill, head of the Narcotic Bureau Cell, Mumbai, told her that a case of money laundering, narcotics smuggling and violation of crypto norm has been filed against her due to illegal transactions through her bank accounts. Also, they told her that she has links with gangster Islam Malik,” the EOW said.
Tripathy was also made to talk to one Dr Balsing Rajput, IPS, DCP, Cyber Crime, who showed her a document issued by the CBI and a letter with the seal of the RBI that mentions her involvement in money laundering.
“Dr Balsing Rajput suggested that if she wants to prove her innocence, she has to send an amount of around Rs 1.5 lakh to the given account number of RBI for verification,” the release said.
Further, she was assured that if nothing illegal is found with her bank transactions, the amount will be returned to her within 15 minutes. “Out of panic and shock, she sent the amount from her bank accounts through UPI and IMPS,” the EOW said.
During the investigation, the EOW was found that it is a huge scam using the name of courier companies and impersonating as NCB, CBI, ED, police officer etc. Hundreds of people, across the country, are being extorted huge amounts of money.
“It was found that the amount deposited by the victim landed in a mule account of one Jagdamba Enterprises in Punjab. It was also found that scammers, in just 2-3 days, had extorted Rs 5.58 crores (from many victims across the country using this single account). However, this money was further transferred to different mule accounts and ultimately a major chunk of this amount was withdrawn through an ATM in Dubai,” the release said.