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The Man Who Duped India Out of Nearly Rs 5,000 Crore Finally Caught, Details Inside

ED nabs Ashish Kakkar, kingpin of a Rs 4,978 crore cyber fraud and money laundering scheme, unveiling a vast criminal empire.



The Man Who Duped India Out of Nearly Rs 5,000 Crore Finally Caught, Details Inside

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested Ashish Kakkar, a notorious cyber fraudster from Delhi’s Greater Kailash area, on March 2, 2024.

Kakkar was arrested at the Hotel Holiday Inn in Gurugram and subsequently placed under ED custody for ten days by the PMLA Court. As the alleged architect of a vast cyber fraud empire, Kakkar is accused of generating and laundering proceeds of crime (PoC) amounting to Rs. 4,978 Crore from a range of cybercrimes and online gaming activities across India between 2020 and 2024.

A Nationwide Network of Fraud

The ED’s investigation into Kakkar’s operations was sparked by FIRs filed across various states, including Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana. Kakkar’s scheme, sophisticated in its execution, involved duping individuals through investment fraud, part-time job scams, online shopping frauds, and loan schemes.

By promising high returns on investments and employing tactics to foster trust, Kakkar and his associates manipulated victims into parting with their life savings, often under the pretense of covering additional taxes or processing fees.

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Laundering the Loot

Following these fraudulent activities, the proceeds were meticulously laundered through over 200 companies controlled by Kakkar and his network. Despite not holding official positions in these entities, Kakkar oversaw operations through loyal associates, using forged documents for banking transactions.

These dummy companies, sharing common addresses and directors, engaged in extensive banking activities without complying with financial reporting obligations.

Elaborate Schemes and Seizures

Kakkar’s method of siphoning off funds involved importing high-value items like rose oil and solar panel machinery from various countries to Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in India, only to re-export them without any corresponding remittances, facilitating hawala transactions. This was part of a larger scheme of circular trading designed to launder the proceeds of crime.

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In raids conducted between May 2023 and March 2024, the ED seized significant assets including gold bars, cash, luxury vehicles, and incriminating documents from Kakkar’s premises. The operation also uncovered several PAN and Aadhar cards, mobile phones, and office stamps used in the creation and management of the fraudulent companies. Investigators also found remotely accessed laptops, highlighting the sophisticated methods employed by Kakkar to evade detection and arrest.

This arrest marks a significant milestone in the ED’s ongoing efforts to dismantle networks involved in cyber fraud and money laundering, showcasing the complex strategies employed by criminals in the digital age and the equally sophisticated response from law enforcement agencies.


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