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29-year-old arrested from north-east Delhi in ₹370 crore crypto scam | Latest News Delhi

A 29-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly running a cryptocurrency scam and cheating people of more than 370 crore using apps such as Telegram and Instagram, police said, adding that the suspect was operating the scam from northeast Delhi with the help of at least a dozen associates, who are yet to be identified or traced.

Police said that the suspects posed as representatives of Binance — a Chinese company that oversees legitimate cryptocurrency exchanges across countries. (Representational image)

The arrested suspect was identified as Mohammad Daud from Maujpur, Delhi. The arrest came after a 30-year-old woman in Delhi lodged a complaint against the gang for cheating her of 23 lakh in April this year.

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“The victim was cheated on the pretext of getting good returns by investing in the share market. The suspects approached the complainant through Telegram using WiFi connections belonging to other people to evade detection. The woman told us she was lured after seeing posts on Instagram about cryptocurrency and other investments,” said deputy commissioner of police (northeast) Joy N Tirkey.

Police said that the suspects posed as representatives of Binance — a company founded in China that oversees cryptocurrency exchanges across countries. They asked the woman to invest 1,000 and she received a “return” of 1,300. Police said this prompted the woman to invest more. When she had put in a large amount of money, the suspects told her that her money was “blocked” and that she needed to put in more money to “unblock” it.

“She took a loan of 15 lakh to unblock her previous funds. The suspects told her that her account would be permanently closed if she didn’t put in more money. The woman kept investing till a bank official called her and asked her about the large transactions. When she told them about what she was doing, the bank official informed her that it was a scam,” said the investigator.

The woman approached the police, who registered a first information report. Police learned that the suspects used 11-12 bank accounts registered in Delhi, Noida, Meerut, and Gurugram to receive money from their victims.

Suspects took advantage of telecom firm scheme to evade detection

“We knew tracking the bank accounts would be difficult. We looked at the technical aspects and learned that all the accused were using the Wifi connections of other people to remain untraceable. Based on the bank transactions, it is estimated that the suspects cheated people of more than 370 crore,” the investigator added.

Police said the suspects used WiFi connections registered to other people to evade identification while connecting. To do this, the suspects used a local telecom company which provides a special plan of connecting with existing connections by paying 10, police said.

“The suspects took advantage of the special plan of a telecom company. We checked their bank accounts and found they were dealing in funds to the tune of 1.4 crore in a single day. They didn’t know each other but worked almost every day. We found most of the network was being utilized by users in Maujpur. Based on IP logs and bank details, one of the suspects was traced and arrested from his home in Maujpur,” he said.

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Police recovered debit cards, chequebooks, SIM cards and devices used in the scam from Daud, said officers. His interrogation revealed he worked with “random associates” to scam people.

“They all met online and would randomly connect to WiFi networks to cheat people. They have been doing this for a year,” added Tirkey.

Investigators said that the suspect previously worked for a company in Dilshad Garden to gain experience as a sales executive.

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