Beverage company officials held for involvement in Pakistan-based lottery racket

Sharing the modus operandi of the racket, the CID officer said that the money collected from people were sent to Pakistan through hawala channels.

Published: 27th January 2019 11:23 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th January 2019 11:23 PM   |  A+A-

Lottery tickets (Pic: ENS)

By PTI

KOLKATA: The CID of West Bengal Police has arrested two top officials of a beverage-manufacturing company for their alleged involvement with a Pakistan-based racket that conned people with fake lottery schemes, a senior officer of the agency said Sunday.

Acting on a suo motu case registered at Egra police station in East Midnapore district on January 13, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) found that the racket had been duping people in the state as well in other parts of the country, he said.

Two officials of Bangladesh-based Pran Beverages (India) Private Ltd - director Rajesh Ghosh and sales administration manager Bidhan Kirtaniya - were arrested Saturday night after they were found to have received money from the racket, he told PTI.

The duo were produced at Contai court, which remanded them to police custody, the officer said. "The officials were apprehended under several relevant sections of the IPC and section 66 (D) of the IT Act. Necessary searches have been conducted and documents seized from the residential premises of the two accused and the head office of the beverage company at Chinar Park, New Town," he said.

Sharing the modus operandi of the racket, the CID officer said that the money collected from people were sent to Pakistan through hawala channels.

"The racketeers would call up people via phone or Whatsapp from numbers starting with +92 or 0092 to tell them that they have won a huge amount of money in the lottery, which would be transferred to them on payment of processing fees.

"Once the fees were deposited in the bank account, it was withdrawn by agents here in India. They then sent the money to Pakistan after routing it through Dubai," he explained.

As of now, the department was trying to find out more about the operations of the racket, the officer said.

"Several accounts were opened against fictitious names in different states and whenever a deposit was made the money was withdrawn as quickly as possible. These two have siphoned off more over Rs 55 lakh through hawala," he said.

"Such cheating of money was so far done by Nigerians and we had no clue that there could be Pakistani links to this particular case. It seems to be quite a big racket. We are trying to find out which other states they have (racketeers) been operating from and who all are involved in the process," he added.

Talking more about their investigation, the senior CID officer said, "Name of these two persons surfaced after grilling Muhammad Umar who was arrested from New Delhi last month in connection with a bank-fraud case."

Information about the case and requisite investigation has have been shared with Central detective agencies, the IPS officer added.

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