This Delhi Gang Pledges Online Loans and Uses Funds to Invest in Crypto
The defendants, identified as Deepak Patwa (23), Sunil Kumar Khatik (34), Dev Kishan (32) and Suresh Singh (45), learned of the deceptive tactics via YouTube, they said.
According to police, the matter was brought to light by one of the victims who alleged in his complaint that he received a text message on his phone that read “LIGHT your requested loan is approved, you can choose a loan limit of between of Rs 2,00,000/- , please log in the app to get https://bit.ly/3jpHFeV”.
The complainant followed the link and downloaded his basic information. Soon after, he received a WhatsApp call asking him to pre-deposit 5% of the loan amount, which according to company rule will be repaid later. After depositing a total of Rs 40,000 in three transactions, he stopped responding on WhatsApp.
Deputy Police Commissioner (Rohini) Pranav Tayal said the money trail showed the amount was transferred to bank accounts in Neemuch in Madhya Pradesh. After further analysis, it was learned that more than Rs 75 lakh had been transferred to the alleged account in two days and cryptocurrencies were being purchased on various platforms using this money.
Some suspects were targeted and technical surveillance was put in place on them after which they were found operating from Chittorgarh in Rajasthan, he said.
The DCP said that raids were carried out in Chittorgarh and based on technical analysis as well as human intelligence, the four accused were apprehended and subsequently, they were arrested in the case.
“During the interrogation, the defendants revealed that they came up with the idea of cheating on YouTube. They came into contact with a Chinese national on the Telegram application who used to deceive innocent people under the pretext of to facilitate online lending. They used to get the bank accounts and registered SIM cards by paying 1.5% to the account holder and providing the same to cheaters through Telegram,” he said. .
The accused obtained the deceived money from different bank accounts through UPI and then converted it into cryptocurrencies by buying USDT from this money on Binance Crypto Exchange. Defendant Deepak Patwa was receiving a commission in USDT and then redeemed it back to his account via hawala, the officer said.
“It has also been learned that the IP address of the alleged WhatsApp number belongs to China. In order to communicate with this number, Deepak used to translate the messages received in Chinese into Hindi with the help of Google Translator”, added the officer.
Police say that as the investigation into the case continues, more victims are being identified.
Fifteen debit cards, seven mobile phones and 27 SIM cards used in the crime along with a dongle, laptop, tablet and Rs 20,000 among other items were recovered, they said.
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