BENGALURU: In a breakthrough, law enforcement authorities have dismantled a major cybercrime network operating in Bengaluru. The operation has uncovered transactions worth Rs 854 crores spread across 84 bank accounts and has led to the registration of 5,013 cases nationwide.
The Cyber Crime Branch (CCB) of Bengaluru has played a pivotal role in apprehending members of this criminal syndicate. In total, 17 cases have been registered in the city, and the gang responsible for these illicit activities has been taken into custody by the CCB cybercrime police.
Notably, the accused were managing the accounts from Bengaluru while residing abroad.
Key members of the Bengaluru-based gang, including Navara Manoj alias Jock, Phanindra, Vasanth, Srinivasa, Chakradar alias Chakri, and Somashekhar alias Uncle, were cooperating with associates based overseas.
Ainathi Asami, who was responsible for managing the bank accounts of individuals residing in the Vidyaranyapur and Yelahanka areas of Bangalore, is among those arrested.
The modus operandi of this elaborate cybercrime operation involved sending job offer messages to individuals across India via platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram.
Potential victims were lured into participating in what they believed were part-time jobs related to Google. They were asked to rate various shops and provide Google reviews, with the promise of payment.
Once individuals joined a Telegram group, the accused encouraged them to invest in cryptocurrency-related ventures. They were persuaded to invest sums ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 10,000. The promise was that, after investing, they would earn daily returns ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000.
Gradually, as trust was built and more individuals invested, the stakes escalated, with victims pouring in lakhs and even crores of rupees. These funds were then deposited into different bank accounts in Bengaluru.
Subsequently, the money was funnelled into foreign bank accounts, and the cybercriminal gang managing the bank accounts would receive cryptocurrency in return. The foreign group would then invest these funds in various foreign companies.
As part of the operation, law enforcement agencies seized computers, mobile phones, laptops, bank account records, credit cards, debit cards, swiping machines, SIM cards, printers, and chequebooks.
Additionally, Rs 5 crores in the bank accounts of the accused have been frozen by the CCB police.