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Star India’s Cricket Content Hijacked!: Agra Police Nabs Cyber Gang Behind Massive Live Streaming Fraud



Star India's Cricket Content Hijacked! Agra Police Nabs Cyber Gang Behind Massive Live Streaming Fraud

AGRA: The Cyber Crime Cell in Agra arrested three cyber criminals involved in a sophisticated scam that defrauded crores of rupees through unauthorized live streaming, betting, and gaming on the third-party app Ekbet and web portal.

The criminals exploited authorized live content of Star India Network, including live games and the ICC World Cup Qualifier Match 2023. The police have also seized 50 bank accounts and frozen funds worth Rs 24 lakh during the operation.

The investigation was initiated following a complaint lodged by Hemant Tandon, an investigator from the Blue Icon Investigation Services, who was informed by Star India Company about the illegal live streaming and distribution of their authorized content through Ekbet and Wave portals.

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The accused were running a betting and gaming operation where unsuspecting victims were cheated, and their subscription amounts were collected online in various accounts and virtual accounts linked to the Ekbet firm.

Elaborate Scam Unearthed:

Upon meticulous investigation, the cyber team unraveled the workings of the pirated website company and discovered that the criminals had amassed crores of rupees by offering illegal subscriptions to the authorized content of Star India Network.

The ICC World Cup Qualifier Match 2023 was among the events being exploited for the fraudulent activities.

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The technical analysis traced the mobile numbers and bank accounts associated with the Ekbet web portal, leading to the identification of the culprits hailing from Andhra Pradesh, including Guntur, Vijayawada, Hyderabad, and other cities.

Arrest of Cyber Criminals:

The police arrested three key perpetrators involved in the illegal operation who were identified as Sheikh Karimulla, Sheikh Molali and T Surya Srinivasa Manikanta all hailing from Andhra Pradesh.

However, two others, V Mahesh and Krishna Reddy from Andhra Pradesh, and Sheikh Abdullah, remain absconding and are subjects of an ongoing manhunt.

Operational Details:

The arrested criminals confessed to their roles and divulged the modus operandi of the scam. Sheikh Karimulla, an employee at a petrol pump, was approached by Sheikh Molali, who worked at ICICI Bank in Vijayawada. Molali convinced Karimulla to open bank accounts, promising a reward of Rs. 5,000 for each account. This greed led Karimulla to open multiple accounts in his name, his wife Sheikh Shakira’s name, his friend Rahim’s name, and Rahim’s wife.

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Further investigation revealed that T Surya Srinivasa Manikanta, in association with associates Vemavarapu Mahesh and Krishna Reddy, operated the Third Party Ekbet App/Web Portal, which was the epicenter of the illegal activity.

Manikanta disclosed that they paid commissions to Sheikh Molali and Sheikh Abdullah, who worked at HDFC Vishanapeth, for every account they got opened.

The investigation team recovered incriminating evidence, including 20 chequebooks, 16 ATM cards, 5 Aadhar cards, and 8 merchant QRs, among other items, from the accused. Additionally, funds amounting to Rs 24 lakh in 50 bank accounts were frozen to prevent further criminal activities.

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