Using ‘herbal seeds’ front, pan-India gang cons people of lakhs

Cyber criminals have now come up with yet another devious way of conning you. A gang of over 200 members operating in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai is luring people into investing money.

Published: 17th September 2017 08:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th September 2017 08:29 AM   |  A+A-

CHANDIGARH: Cyber criminals have now come up with yet another devious way of conning you. A gang of over 200 members operating in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai is luring people into investing money in non-existent companies allegedly dealing with ‘herbal seeds’ used to manufacture medicines for various life-threatening diseases.

The gang’s slick operation will lead you to believe that you are dealing with a ‘genuine’ UK-based company. What is even more surprising is that if one checks on Google or Wikipedia, all the allegedly fake companies are listed.

The gang comprises both Indians and Nigerians, and is active on social networking platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. Cases have been registered with the cyber crime cells in Chandigarh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Bengaluru.

A case was registered on September 6 in Chandigarh, for cheating under the IT Act and later transferred to cyber cell, on the complaint of BR Chauhan of Sector 38. The complainant mentioned that he was contacted through Facebook in the first week of August by a woman named Gladoski Darell.  
She said that she was working with BH Pharma Solution Company as Assistant Purchase Manager and asked him to get herbal seeds, and gave the details of Nita Kumar Traders Private Limited in Mumbai for the same.

Chauhan lost Rs 29.5 lakh in the process. He was told that he would get Rs 4 lakh per packet of 250 gm of seeds, which he had to buy from the Mumbai company at Rs 2.5 lakh per packet. He deposited money in various accounts as asked by Nita Kumar Traders Private Limited (Rs 7.5 lakh), Sana Enterprises (Rs 10 lakh), Star Enterprises (Rs 6 lakh). Later the same month, another woman—Lauren Desmond—came to his house and took two packets of seeds for ‘testing purpose’.

During police investigations, KYC documents and account statements were verified. The accounts were found to be opened on the basis of fake documents and mobile connections had fake IDs. “We have arrested three persons from Mumbai—33-year-old Emmanual Chiendu of Nigeria, Preet Ravriya (23) and Ravi Sonune (BCom student), . Further raids are on and we have seized 31 packets of these seeds,” said Harinder Singh Sekhon, in charge of cyber cell of Chandigarh Police.

How they work
The gang comprises both Indians and Nigerians, and is active on all social networking platforms—Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Cases have been registered with the cyber crime cells in Chandigarh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Bengaluru.

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