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Karnataka: Police bust illegal forex trade in Dakshina Kannada; youth nabbed with 42 SIM cards

Dharmasthala police dismantle illegal SIM card operation in Karnataka linked to a foreign currency transfer business. Five individuals were arrested, including a minor, involved in purchasing SIM cards for online currency trading. Investigation reveals a network collecting bank details and executing money transfers.

Karnataka: Police bust illegal forex trade in Dakshina Kannada; youth nabbed with 42 SIM cards vkp
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First Published Feb 4, 2024, 5:52 PM IST

The Dharmasthala police at Dakshina Kannada in Karnataka have successfully dismantled an illegal operation involving the purchase of 42 SIM cards, suspected to be linked to a foreign currency transfer business. The accused, allegedly part of a clandestine network, were reportedly engaged in converting foreign currency into Indian rupees through online channels with the help of foreign intermediaries.

A recent investigation led by ASI Samuel of Dharmasthala police station has brought to light a complex web of activities involving the unlawful purchase and use of SIM cards by a group of individuals based in Belthangady. The suspects, including a minor, are believed to have orchestrated a foreign currency trading scheme through unofficial apps.

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The modus operandi of this illicit operation unfolded when Akbar Ali, a 24-year-old resident of Bantwala, was identified as a key actor in the racket. Ali, who had been collecting SIM cards while residing in Dubai, was allegedly instructed by his friend Mohammad Mustafani to gather these cards for a covert foreign currency trading business.

Mustafani, in turn, assigned the task to his associates, Rameez and Mohammad Sadiq, who persuaded friends and acquaintances to purchase SIM cards on their behalf. The unsuspecting individuals were lured into the scheme with promises of commissions, receiving Rs. 800 for each SIM card procured.

The Dharmasthala police, acting on a complaint filed by ASI Samuel, initiated an investigation resulting in the arrest of five individuals. Four of the accused are currently in judicial custody, while the minor's father has been served a notice after the juvenile was released.

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Preliminary findings indicate that the purchased SIM cards were used for online foreign currency trading through unofficial apps. The accused were reportedly involved in collecting bank account details from unsuspecting individuals, predominantly from low-income backgrounds, and executing money transfers through their network.

The police suspect that the racket involved withdrawing money from these accounts and offering commissions to the account holders involved. Investigations are underway to determine the full extent of the operation, including identifying those behind the online trading business based in Bangalore that allegedly instructed the youth involved.

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