Mon. Jul 15th, 2024
Odisha Crime Branch arrests 15 criminals involved in series of cyber frauds

Bhubaneswar: The Cyber Crime Unit of Odisha Crime Branch on Wednesday arrested 15 members of a cyber criminals racket involved in duping gullible persons on the pretext of high returns against investments in Cryptocurrency, stocks and IPO shares, said a senior official of Odisha Police.

The crime branch sleuths have arrested the two masterminds Tushar Sharma and Bhavesh Thakur from Delhi who were running the cyber criminal racket.

The accused persons identified as Ranjit Kumar Bal of Kendrapara, Dillip Kumar Lenka of Balasore, Sunil Prasad of Ganjam, and Bishikesan Padhy alias Siba from Rayagada in connivance with the masterminds duo used to get current accounts opened in different banks to facilitate the transfer of funds.

Similarly, Kalandi Singh and Sudhansu Bhusan Pattanaik from Khordha, Udaybhanu Ghadei of Bhubaneswar, Jiten Barad of Nayagarh, Bharat Bhusan Chakra of Jagatsinghpur, Bikash Chandra Rout and Uttam Kumar Sahu of Bhadrak, Satya Ranjan Sahoo from Balasore and Amit Kumar Rout of Ganjam had opened bank accounts in their own name and utilised it for transferring the fraudulently obtained money.

The accused fraudsters have been arrested in connection with a case based on a complaint lodged by a victim from Bhubaneswar who alleged that some individuals posing as staff at a securities company, representative of Blackstone Investment Group, involved in online trading, along with some others defrauded him to the tune of more than Rs 3 crore.

The crime branch sources said that the victim received a message on Facebook on March 29 inviting him to join a WhatsApp group focused on institutional trading with discounts on shares and promising high returns on investments.

Persuaded by the cyber fraudsters, the victim transferred a total of Rs 3, 04, 00,000 from five of his accounts to various accounts specified by cyber criminals until June 11, 2024. Despite his attempts, he was unable to withdraw any funds.

“When he requested withdrawal, he was asked to pay a 20 per cent management fee on his profits, which they claimed had exceeded 300 per cent. His requests went unanswered and the persons as well as the accounts went unreachable, following which he realized that he had fallen victim to a meticulously planned conspiracy and online fraud by this group and their associates,” added the official.

The cops during the investigation found that the cyber criminals used to identify their targets through social media and invited them to join WhatsApp or Telegram groups for discussions on trading and investment.

Subsequently, the victims were enticed into opening fake trading accounts with the promise of high returns. Although the victims could see that their money was apparently growing in the fake trading platform, they were prevented from making any withdrawals. When they attempted to withdraw, more money was extorted under the guise of processing fees and other charges.

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