When four people, including a Chinese official and three Indians were arrested for a fraud of a few lakhs, we believed it would be like any other case. Until the Hyderabad police further lead into the case and unearthed INR 30 crores from two bank accounts.
On 14 August, Anjani Kumar, the Hyderabad City Police Commissioner had announced that the total value of the transaction in the two HSBC accounts, operational since 2019 was nearly INR 110 crores. Most of the transactions took place in 2020 and the group was planning to register a new company in Cayman Islands, UK. While initiating to freeze these bank accounts, there was a balance of around INR 14 crores and INR 16 crores respectively.
The police said, as of yesterday, the investigations had unearthed over 15 such bank accounts, from which another INR 20 crore was recovered. The four people arrested are Yah Hao, Dheeraj Sarkar, Ankit Kapoor and Neeraj Tuli. The case started uncovering when two people complained to the Hyderabad police after losing INR 97,000 And INR 1.64 respectively. Online gaming has been banned in Telangana.
The scam was done in the form of a Colour Prediction Game. People were lured into online gaming via Telegram. Players were required to place their bets on colours and their combinations. The two complainants had informed that the initial chances of winning the bets are around 7:3, and as the game progresses, the winning probability reverses to 3:7. An official said, “Websites are disguised as e-commerce websites selling shoes, clothes, etc while all of them have a similar interface and have domain names registered in China, Taiwan, etc. The websites will have a link in one corner which takes one to the actual betting site.” The police suspect that the illegal gambling activity could have gained ground during the current COVID-19 lockdown.
The bank accounts were linked to companies named Linkyun Technology Pvt Ltd, Dokypay Technology Pvt Ltd, and SpotPay Technology India Pvt Ltd. The Police also found other companies with the same set of directors, shareholders, namely Sily Consulting Services Pvt Ltd, Pan Yun Technology Services, Daisylink Financial Pvt Ltd, and Huahuo Financial Pvt Ltd.
According to the police commissioner, “The entire technical operation is run by China-based directors, while the payments were done through PayTM and Cash Free.” The Chinese official, told the police that his employer is only a payment aggregator and that the company has operations in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia etc. The police said, “He and four other Chinese nationals had been trying to leave the country but due to the suspension of international travel owing to COVID-19 lockdown, they could not. Now, there is no way they are going to return.”
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