Hundreds of hardworking farmers across six districts in Saurashtra have been left reeling from a cyber fraud orchestrated by a deceitful gang comprising 12 individuals. The masterminds behind this fraudulent operation were identified as Paresh Velani and his wife, Shital, who led a group preying on the trust of unsuspecting farmers.
The police from Jamnagar Cyber Crime unit, along with Junagadh cops, nabbed 11 out of 12 individuals, including Paresh Velani and his wife Shital. This gang had been under watch for two months after eight farmers reported a scam at the Cyber Crime police station. They had been lured into deals offering tarpaulin and chemical pesticide agencies with attractive commissions and profits.
Inspector PP Jha of the Cyber Crime police explained that Velani and his wife set up a fake company called Seven Star. The gang members then called farmers, offering them these products at reasonable prices. They gathered farmers’ data from stores selling farming equipment and even gave cash-on-delivery options. Once the farmers received the products, the gang members called back, promising them commissions and profits for taking agency roles. Different gang members acted as Seven Star executives. Ram Vadher, 31, collected data from the shops.
Jha mentioned, “The victims trusted the company after receiving good products and calls from different people. They agreed to buy the agency.” The gang then asked for money for registration and other charges but didn’t sign any contracts. They eventually stopped communicating with the farmers. Police found records with names of about 125 victims, mainly farmers from various districts.
This scam had been ongoing for two years. While the couple organized the plan, provided SIM cards, and ran the call center in Junagadh, other members worked as tele-callers. Jha added, “We started watching them, but they changed phones and SIM cards often, making it hard to locate them immediately.”
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