Home » Mumbai police bust a gang luring people with LPG and petrol dealership Gang operating from Bihar, West Bengal cheated over 10,000 people

Mumbai police bust a gang luring people with LPG and petrol dealership Gang operating from Bihar, West Bengal cheated over 10,000 people

by Raju Vernekar
0 comment 4 minutes read

By Raju Vernekar
New Delhi/Mumbai, Jan 7:
Mumbai: The Mumbai Cyber Police have arrested a gang of six people, including a woman, for duping a complainant of Rs.3.66 lakh and have found two fake websites made by them, which might have cheated over 10,000 people ever since the racket began in 2018. While three persons, including a woman, were nabbed from Patna(Bihar), one was apprehended from Jaigad in Ratnagiri(Maharashtra) and two engineers were caught from Durgapur(West Bengal). A cash of Rs one lakh cash, a lap top computer and 5 mobiles worth Rs 70,000/- were seized from the accused. They have been booked under sections 419, 420, 465, 467,468,471 IPC and sections 66- C, 66- D of Information Technology Act 2000. Nearly 123 other fake websites have been found in their possession. The accused used to operate these fake websites from Patna, Bihar, trapping people through the click bait and then luring them with offers to own an LPG gas agency or petrol pump dealerships, instantloans and online shopping. On 15 December, a complainant approached Cyber Police, stating that he has been duped of Rs.3.66 lakh on the pretext of being allotted a petrol pump of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL). A case was lodged and the primary probe revealed that the accused had lured the victims by advertising on social media websites and creating fake websites.Following the money trail, it was learnt that the gang was operating from Bihar and West Bengal, following which two teams were dispatched. Police identified two beneficiaries of the bank account. One woman and two men were arrested from Bihar. During the investigation, one of the accused fled to Ratnagiri and the police followed him with the help of the local police. The probe also revealed that they had been trapping people using click-bait strategy and directing the users to fake websites, which had a stark resemblance to the original websites. Victims were asked to fill in the details like their name, locations and bank details.“The victim was asked to make a part payment of 50 per cent to register and be eligible for the allotment of the petrol pump or gas agency. The accused contacted them via e-mail, phone or messages to get the payments and asked them to pay the remaining 50 per cent to get allotment. Each victim was duped between Rs.6 lakh and Rs.7 lakh. We suspect that the accused have cheated nearly 10,351 persons of Rs 10.13 crore”, Joint Commissioner of Police (crime) Milind Bharambe said.Based on the information, police arrested other accused, who were either outsourced to make the fake websites, which were made after a thorough recce of trending websites with most hits. “The other fake websites created by these accused are for instant loans, Reliance towers, petrol pump dealership and e-commerce websites like Naptoal, Snapdeal, DCP(Cyber) Rashmi Karandikar said.Most of the arrested accused are well educated and the mastermind of the racket is a Commerce graduate based in Bihar. They have believed to have trapped over 10,000 people using just two websites, and many more victims could turn up in the probe of other 123 fake websites. Police have urged citizens to approach them if they were duped of any similar investment opportunities.According to the police, the scam came to light on 15 December, 2020 when the complainant approached the crime branch stating that he had registered himself for an LPG gas dealership on two websites—www.lpgvitrekchayan.net and www.allindiadealershipservices.in. The complainant had given all personal details in the registration form on the websites, which were allegedly created by the accused.After a few days, the complainant received a call from a man who introduced himself as D K Verma, a representative of the website and promised a dealership of HP Gas Agency, asking her to deposit Rs 3.66 lakh for certificates and other documentation. After receiving the amount, the representative stopped responding to the complainant and on verification, he found that he had been duped.During investigation, the cyber police traced the online fraud to Bihar and West Bengal and found that thousands of people had registered on the websites created by the racketeers, the official said. Four teams were dispatched to Patna in Bihar, West Bengal and Ratnagiri in Maharashtra(since one of the culprit had fled to Ratnagiri)  to nab the culprits.

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