Hyderabad Police recently uncovered a massive fraud ring involving Chinese handlers, leading to the duping of over ₹700 crore from at least 15,000 Indians in less than a year. The money was channeled to China through Dubai, with some funds also being sent to an account associated with the Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah.
The investigation began in April after a person reported being defrauded of ₹28 lakh, and the cyber crime branch of Hyderabad Police discovered that victims were enticed with promises of investment-cum-part-time jobs. They were asked to perform simple tasks, like liking YouTube videos or writing Google reviews, for which they were paid. However, once they invested small amounts, they were promised high returns and asked to put in larger sums in multiple transactions.
The victims were contacted through Telegram and WhatsApp, and a fake window displayed their supposed earnings. However, they couldn’t withdraw the money until completing all the tasks, by which point they had already invested significant sums.
The investigation exposed 113 Indian bank accounts used in the scam, with money being moved through multiple accounts and converted into cryptocurrency before being routed to China via Dubai. The fraudsters used Indian SIM cards to remotely operate the accounts from Dubai, in coordination with Chinese operators.
Several individuals have been arrested, while the police are searching for more culprits involved in the scheme. The fraudsters set up shell companies to open numerous bank accounts, and the funds were traced to Chinese masterminds, including individuals named Kevin Jun, Lee Lou Langzhou, and Shasha.
The case highlights the complexities and international dimensions of cybercrime and the need for robust measures to protect individuals from falling victim to such fraudulent schemes.