The police in India’s Uttar Pradesh on Friday claimed to have traced the link to China of Rs 4,200 crore worth of frauds on the pretext of cryptocurrency trading, instant online loans and part-time job offers in major companies.
The UP police’s claim came close on the heels of the Cyber Crime department of the Uttar Pradesh police arresting a Mumbai-based man over a Rs 1.84 crore fraud with a Meerut-based businessman.
The businessman identified as Yogendra Kumar Chaudhary has alleged that he was lured into cryptocurrency trading and assured of huge returns if the investment was made through the website – www.gicsingapore.com. He said he was asked to open a trading account on the website’s app and was shown decent profits during the initial days but when he went for bigger investments, he realized the con.
“During the investigation of the case, the amount of money cheated from the accounts of the victim was found transacted into 19 bank accounts and one payment aggregator. After analyzing the data with technical means, the role of suspect Bhuleshwarnath Mishra (59) came to light and he was arrested,” the UP Cyber Police said.
“The suspect, who lives in Hiranandani Heritage society in Kandiwali East area of Mumbai, informed the investigation team that he worked on a commission basis for a Singapore-based foreigner who identified himself a crypto currency trading advisor,” the police said.
The investigation also revealed that Mishra’s role in the scam was to transfer the cheated sum from his bank account to Zebpay and then to Binance Crypto Exchange before converting it in USDT so that the funds could become accessible to his Singapore-based associate.
The Bigger Scam And Chinese Link
Superintendent of Police (UP Cyber Crime) Prof. Triveni Singh said they had tracked connection in frauds related to cryptocurrency trading, instant loan lending apps and fake job advertisements through bulk SMSes to China.
The police had earlier this year found a link of China-based operators in cheating of crores of rupees from people across India through instant loan lending apps and part-time job offers in leading companies, he said.
“We had earlier detected a scam worth around Rs 3,000 crore linked to China. But now their connection has also been established in frauds on the pretext of cryptocurrency trading through bogus and fake websites,” Singh said.
“These people now created fake websites and apps for crypto trading and lure people into investing money in return for huge profits. But in reality whatever profits they see is only on websites and apps while the investors never get any money back,” the state’s cyber police chief explained.
On how the money reaches the foreigners running such frauds, Singh said the funds first go to local Indian bank accounts and digital wallets of those associated in the scam.
“The money is then transferred to Zebpay (a crypto currency exchange platform accessible in India) to Binance (an international crypto exchange platform) and then accessed by the masterminds of the whole scam,” he added.
Prof. Triveni Singh said this is a “huge racket” and some of the operators are located in Nepal also but ultimately being controlled from China.
He said the Reserve Bank of India has also taken cognizance of such frauds and directed agencies concerned for measures to check them.
“The instant loan apps, the part-time job offers and now the crypto trading fraud – all of them are being operated by the same hackers from China. The SMS aggregators are also involved in it,” he said.
“This fraud is so far estimated worth Rs 4,200 crore and linked with Chinese operators,” he added.
Message For Public
Prof. Triveni Singh said the people need to be cautious during online transactions and use the dedicated helpline 1930 to report any such offense.
If people receive any offer for part-time job, or instant loan or huge returns on crypto currency trading, then there are high chances of these being fraud attempts from Chinese operators, he said.
“People need to be careful,” the UP cyber police chief added.
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