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8 arrested in Bengaluru for involvement in ₹1.8 crore fraud linked to illicit Marijuana parcel scam

Bengaluru's Cyber Crime Station arrests eight in a vast cyber fraud network. Swindling millions posing as Mumbai police, they deceived victims about drug parcels, seizing ₹13.17 lakh, 11 phones, and freezing ₹19 lakh in accounts. The scam, involving ₹1.8 crore loss to a Malleswar resident, also involved Bitcoin and revealed 75 other cyber fraud cases.

8 arrested in Bengaluru for involvement in Rs 1.8 crore fraud linked to illicit Marijuana parcel scam vkp
First Published Dec 2, 2023, 9:44 AM IST

The Cyber Crime Station police of North Division in Bengaluru have apprehended eight individuals associated with a vast network of cyber fraudsters. These fraudsters were allegedly siphoning off substantial sums of money through deceptive calls, falsely posing as Mumbai police officials alerting about drug parcels arriving via reputed courier companies.

The arrested individuals—N. Waseem, M. Habibullah, Nizamuddin, and Musharraf from Davangere, along with Nurullah Khan, Mohammad Umar, Syed Ahmed, and Syed Hussain from Fraser Town—were detained in connection with this elaborate scam. Confiscated from the accused were ₹13.17 lakh in cash, 11 mobile phones, various banking essentials, and items used in the commission of the crime.

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Moreover, authorities have frozen approximately ₹19 lakh across different bank accounts and seized 148 bank accounts allegedly linked to the fraudulent activities, aiming to prevent further financial misappropriation.

The scam unfolded when a resident from Malleswar received a call from the fraudsters, masquerading as Mumbai Crime Branch Police, informing him about an illegal consignment purportedly addressed to his wife via FedEx courier. Coercing the victim to provide bank documents and funds for a sham investigation, the fraudsters managed to swindle ₹1.8 crore through successive transactions.

The victim was persuaded to believe that four expired passports, weighing 2.35 kg, along with other items, were dispatched to Thailand in the name of his wife. False accusations of possessing illicit substances and illegally opened bank accounts further fueled the deceit, prompting the victim to transfer substantial funds to the criminal's bank account.

After the fraudsters ceased communication, raising suspicion, the victim reported the incident to the Cyber Crime Station. This prompted the formation of a specialized team led by ACP Mary Shailaja and Cyber Crime Station Inspector Shivaratna to investigate the case. Crucial breakthroughs in the investigation emerged when authorities traced a substantial amount of deposited money from the victim's account to a bank in Davangere. Subsequent analysis of CCTV footage from the bank led to the arrest of the eight individuals involved in the fraudulent activities.

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The investigation also unearthed their involvement in two cases registered in the cybercrime police station of Bangalore North Division, alongside the discovery of 75 cyber fraud cases logged in the NCRB portal. Authorities have additionally frozen Bitcoin worth ₹4,500, shedding light on the involvement of cryptocurrencies in the fraud.

According to officials, the arrested individuals, previously engaged in real estate, RTO brokerage, and trading, operated in collusion to execute the scam, with intentions of profiting effortlessly.

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