New Delhi, Jul 3 (PTI) A gang of four men were arrested for allegedly cheating people on the pretext of facilitating loan online and using the fraudulently obtained money to buy cryptocurrencies through various platforms, the Delhi Police said on Sunday.
The accused, identified as Deepak Patwa (23), Sunil Kumar Khatik (34), Dev Kishan (32) and Suresh Singh (45), learnt the deceptive tactics through YouTube, they said.
According to police, the matter was reported by one of the victims who alleged in his complaint that he received a text message on his phone that read "LIGHT your applied loan is approved, you can choose loan limit ranged from Rs 2,00,000/-, please login App to get https://bit.ly/3jpHFeV".
The complainant followed the link and uploaded his basic details. Soon after he received a WhatsApp call asking him to deposit five per cent of the loan amount in advance, which, in accordance with the company's rule, will be refunded later. After depositing a total of Rs 40,000 in three transactions, he stopped responding on WhatsApp.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Rohini) Pranav Tayal said money trail showed that the amount was transferred into bank accounts at Neemuch in Madhya Pradesh. On further analysis, it was learnt that more than Rs 75 lakh were transferred into the alleged account within two days and Cryptocurrencies were being purchased on various platforms using that money.
Some suspects were zeroed in and technical surveillance was mounted on them after which they were found operating from Chittorgarh in Rajasthan, he said.
The DCP said that raids were conducted in Chittorgarh and on the basis of technical analysis as well as human intelligence, the four accused were apprehended and subsequently, they were arrested in the case.
"During interrogation, the accused disclosed that they got this idea of cheating from YouTube. They came in touch with some Chinese national on Telegram app who used to cheat innocent people on the pretext of facilitating online loan. They used to procure the bank accounts and registered SIM cards by paying 1.5 per cent to the account owner and further provide the same to the cheats through Telegram," he said.
The accused got the cheated money in different bank accounts through UPI and then converted it into cryptocurrencies by purchasing USDT from that money on Binance Crypto Exchange. Accused Deepak Patwa used to receive commission in USDT and later redeemed it into his account through hawala, the officer said.
"It has also been learnt that the IP address of the alleged WhatsApp number belonged to China. In order to communicate with that number, Deepak used to translate messages received in Chinese language in Hindi with help of Google Translator," the officer added.
Police said that as the investigation of the case is in progress, more victims are being identified.
Fifteen debit cards, seven mobile phones and 27 SIM cards used in the crime along with dongle, laptop, tablet and Rs 20,000 among other articles have been recovered, they said.
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