VISAKHAPATNAM: Nearly seven months after a Vizag-based youngster was duped to the tune of Rs 1.31 crore on promise of lottery money, the sleuths of Cyber Crime Investigation Cell (CCIC) Saturday arrested two out of the 31 accused. The police have launched a man-hunt for the remaining accused, including a Nigerian who is suspected to be the kingpin in the case. The arrested, Rajawat Dhirendra Singh (29) and Rana Akash (22) of Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, were reportedly, approached by the fraudsters and were offered Rs 50,000 for mediating. Singh is a businessman in Gwalior while Akash Rana is a second year BA student at BSM College in Gwalior.
DCP (crime) T Ravi Kumar Murthy said that P Venkata Ramana of Pandivanipalem near Parawada in the city commissionerate limits, received an SMS on his mobile phone saying that he had won Coca Cola Company lucky draw and is entitled for lottery prize of Rs 5 crore.
Later, he received a phone call that said the lottery amount is in UK pounds, which need to be converted into Indian currency and the processing would require some amount to be pre-deposited before claiming the prize money. Believing the accused, the victim deposited Rs 1.31 crore, gathered from various sources like borrowing from relatives and disposing of the family properties. Shockingly, the victim deposited the amount in 30 bank accounts belonging to the accused through 50 transactions, out of which two accounts belonged to Rajwat and Rana. According to reports, Ramana was initially given the account numbers of Rajawat Dhirendra Singh and Rana Akash to deposit Rs 2 lakh in each account. After receiving the amount, the duo have transferred Rs 1.5 lakh from each account to the fraudster’s account by taking Rs 50,000 each.
The DCP explained, “The fraudsters had sent a fake CBI clearance certificate to Venkata Ramana to claim the lottery as well. The victim went to Delhi and met CBI officer K Prem Gautham, who declared that it was a fake one.” Ramana realising that he had been duped, lodged a complaint with the Parawada Police station from where the case was subsequently transferred to CCIC, Vizag.
“Based on the bank account numbers, in which Ramana deposited the money, we commenced our investigation and established the involvement of the arrested two in the case. By visiting various cities we came to know that a total of 31 persons were involved in the crime. The main accused is suspected to be a national of Nigeria, staying in India,” the DCP added. The police said that all efforts were being made to nab the accused.