HYDERABAD: The Rachakonda cybercrime wing busted an international online trading fraud pulled off by Hong Kong-based firms through their Indian associates, and arrested three persons from Bengaluru.
The accused cheated a city-based victim to the tune of Rs 20 lakh under the pretext of investment in online trading applications.
The main accused Ashok Kumar Arumugam joined an instant online loan providing company called ‘Hector Lendkaro India. Pvt. Ltd.’ in January 2020 in Bengaluru. Its in-charge, Scott Wang, a Hong Kong national, made him the head of the India office and they recruited employees for recovery of online loans from the borrowers.
Arumugam along with the other arrested accused -- Kanchi Sanjeev Kumar and Asim Akthar -- made a tie-up with Scott Wang and started freelance for registering new companies with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and the Registrar of Companies, said Rachakonda commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat.
“Several bank accounts were identified and deposits of Rs 3.5 crore have been frozen,” he said.
Police said the victim, a woman from Hayathnagar, received a WhatsApp message from an unknown number informing about investment and online trading app “Winbiz”. He claimed that the investment through the app will provide huge profits every day and asked her to download the app through a web link shared with her.
They also told her to recharge the app using the recharge option. After she recharged the app with Rs 500, she was added to a WhatsApp group by the name “strategy team” operated by Hong Kong-based mobile numbers.
As directed by the handlers, she continued investing Rs 20 lakh during February and March 2021. She also noticed a Rs 54.39 lakh balance in her virtual WinBiz account. However, when she tried to withdraw the money, she found that the withdrawal option in the app was blocked.
She later found that the amount she invested has been transferred to four different bank accounts through various online payment gateways. Based on technical evidence, police arrested the three accused.
Police also found that at the instance of Scott Wang, Arumugam and other accused had registered 15 fake companies and opened bank accounts for the firms.
After opening the bank accounts, they tied up with online payment gateways such as Razorpay, PayU, Cashfree, Easebuzz, and Paytm to provide assistance for online transactions. Access to all the bank was handed over to Scott Wang in Hong Kong.
Inquiries revealed that Wang developed the WinBiz app and used it as a medium to cheat people, collect money fraudulently by fake Recharge options which are linked up to the bank accounts of the fake companies through the online payment gateways.