Gujarat cops arrest seven in investment scam involving Chinese apps, websites

AHMEDABAD: Seven persons were held from different parts of Gujarat and Mumbai for allegedly duping people across the country through websites and mobile applications being run by China-based entities, police said on Monday.

Amit Vasava, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Cyber Crime), said it was a pan-India scam in which people were arrested in other states as well in the past, adding that the modus operandi comprised running apps which offer lucrative returns on investment and shutting them down when victims had put in a sizable amount.

A Cyber Crime Cell release said the probe began after a resident lodged a complaint that he had lost Rs 80,000 after investing it in one such app.

The release, which identified the six arrested persons as Gujarat residents Yasin Qureshi, Dilip Gojiya, Dharmendra Rathod, Rahul Vadher, Jayesh Gagiya, Tushar Getiya and Mumbai resident Jiten Shah, said the fraud involved ensnaring people by sending them links and then showing the victim the amount invested in the wallet section of the app.

However, it said, when the investor tries to withdraw the money, he is unable to do it as the app shows a “technical error”, and efforts to reach the customer service are futile, with the perpetrators shutting down the app and siphoning off the money using payment gateways.

Shah was the director of such a firm that had accumulated Rs 50 crore in its “payout bank account” in a couple of months, which were later siphoned off, while the other six accused mainly provided bank accounts for fraudulent online transfers in return for a commission of 1-3 per cent, the cyber crime cell release informed.