Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Economic Offences Wing (EOW) has arrested a person from Himachal Pradesh for his alleged involvement in a pan-India courier scam. The accused, identified as Rajat Kumar of Yamuna Nagar in Haryana district , was arrested under Sec 166 of the IT Act and relevant sections of the IPC. He was produced before the ACJM court, Paonta Sahib, Himachal Pradesh on February 5 and brought to Bhubaneswar on the strength of4 days’ transit remand. Rajat will be produced before the designated court in Cuttack today.
He was nabbed for allegedly impersonating as NCB, CBI and RBI officials after a case was registered following a complaint by Ratna Tripathy, a journalist from Nayapalli in Bhubaneswar.
As per the complaint, Tripathy received a phone call from a person who introduced himself as an employee of FedEx, Hyderabad, and told her that a parcel containing six Pass ports, one Laptop, five ATM Cards, 150 Gms. of Narcotics drugs had been sent to her and has been intercepted by NCB Mumbai officials. When she denied sending or ordering any parcel, the caller asked her to come down personally to the Narcotic Bureau Cell Mumbai to clarify her point and if she could not attend physically, she could be connected to a person named Gill of Narcotic Bureau, Mumbai over Skype.
If she ignores this, she will be prosecuted under various charges including narcotics case and money laundering etc.
Accordingly, she connected to Skype, the site of Mumbai Narcotic Bureau and a person who introduced himself as Mr. Gill, Head of the Narcotic Bureau Cell, Mumbai, told her that a case of money laundering, Narcotics smuggling and violation of Crypto norm has been filed against her due to the illegal transactions through her Bank accounts.
They also accused her of having links with gangster Islam Malik.
Tripathy was then made to talk to one Balsing Rajput posing as an IPS officer (DCP, Cyber Crime) who
showed her a document issued by CBI and a letter with the seal of RBI that mentions her involvement in money laundering. He suggested her that if she wants to prove her innocence, she has to send an amount of around Rs 1.5 lakh to the given account number of FDRBI of RBI for verification.
She was further assured that if nothing illegal/suspicious is found with her Bank transactions, the amount will be immediately returned to her within 15 minutes. Out of panic and shock, she sent the amount from
her Bank accounts through UPI and IMPS. During the conversation for next 10 to 15 minutes, she was given the clean chit but the caller went off line, and her money was never returned as assured.
Sensing foul play, she reached out to police and filed a complaint. During investigation, it was found that it is a huge scam using the name of courier companies and faking as NCB, CBI, ED and Police Officers. Probe revealed that the amount deposited by victim landed in mule accounts of one Jagdamba Enterprises in Punjab. It was also found that scammers, in just 2-3 days, had extorted Rs 5.58 Crore (from many victims across the country using this single
account). However, this money was further transferred to different mule accounts and ultimately a major chunk of this amount was withdrawn through ATM in Dubai, UAE. It was also found that the money so transferred from the three accounts of informant Ratna Tripathy and her son-in-law had landed in the account of Jagadamba Enterprises of which the present arrested accused Rajat Kumar is the authorized signatory.
As the scammers use the name of real NCB/CBI/ED/IPS officers, people tend to believe them as genuine. However, they don‘t show their face in the video chat. They use fake identity cards/certificate/logo etc which further emboldens the belief that they are genuine. However this accused is just one part of much larger conspiracy of defrauding the public by blackmailing them in the name of sending or receiving incriminating material/ narcotics drugs etc. through courier agencies and by impersonating the authorities of Police, Crime Branch, NCB, CBI and RBI etc, the EOW stated in the official release.
” With this arrest EOW has got vital clues about real masterminds of this scam and the fraudsters sitting in Dubai. Efforts are on to arrest them. So far, 17 incriminating bank accounts have been frozen in this case,” the release stated.