Hyderabad: Cyberabad police have busted a gang of inter-state cyber fraudsters and seized about Rs 10 crore, said to be the largest recovery in a cybercrime case in the country.
The police arrested four accused for targeting innocent persons in the name of online trading by using the Market Box trading application. Cash of Rs 9.81 crore was seized from the accused, said Cyberabad Police Commissioner Stephen Ravindra on Monday.
According to police, the fraudsters had cheated the complainant to the tune of Rs 27.90 lakh.
The complainant had started online trading on ‘Market Box’ trading application and initially, he invested approximately Rs 9,999 and lost the whole amount. Then he again deposited 10 lakh rupees, traded and received Rs 14.9 lakh. Similarly, he continued trading and invested around Rs 62.6 lakh and received Rs 34.7 lakh. In this process, he lost Rs 27.90 lakh. Realising it to be a fraud, he approached the police.
A case was registered under sections 419 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 66C 66D of IT Act.
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Police arrested Abhishek Jain, 32, a commodity trader from Uttar Pradesh. He was the main accused of operating the Market Box trading app.
Pawan Kumar Prajapat and Akash Roy, both residents of Rajasthan and in the fintech business, provided bank accounts.
Sri Krishna Kumar of Uttar Pradesh and an accomplice of the main accused used to collect money from hawala traders.
The second and third accused were arrested from Jodhpur. Mobile phones containing evidence were recovered from them. Based on their confession, the main accused and his accomplice was arrested from Mughalsarai town of Chandauli district of Uttar Pradesh. Rs 9.8 crore were seized from the office of the main accused.
According to police, Abhishek Jain had lost money in trading and he hatched a plan to collect the money from gullible traders through fraudulent trading applications. Pawan Kumar provided bank accounts to the main accused at a 10 percent commission for receiving funds from traders.
Akash Roy was actively involved in transferring funds to bank accounts of merchants from Varanasi and nearby areas, for conversion into cash.
Sri Krishna Kumar was involved in the collection of cash for a commission from merchants in Mughalsarai and Varanasi, on the directions of the main accused.
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The main accused had developed a trading application: ‘Market Box/MB’ www.marketbox.in, promote it on various WhatsApp and Telegram groups. This application is similar to Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) but is not registered with SEBI.
The Police commissioner said that there are about 3,000 traders registered on this fake app. The main accused lured the customers by promoting and advertising his trading app on various chat groups on different platforms.
For receiving investments from victims, he shared the Merchant Pool Account (MPA) of Pawan Kumar Prajapat maintained by a Jodhpur-based Fintech company. This MPA is linked to the market box through the API (Application Programming Interface) of Market Box.
After an investment or pay-in from the victim, it is reflected against his balance on Market Box ID using which the victim trades. The investments received from victims are diverted through multiple accounts.