PNS | New Delhi
The CBI has conducted searches at 76 locations across the country under Operation Chakra-2 after registering five separate cases of cyber-enabled financial fraud, including a Rs 100-crore crypto scam, officials said on Thursday. One of the cases pertains to a racket siphoning off Rs 100 crore of Indian citizens through a cryptocurrency fraud, they said.
“This audacious scheme, under the guise of a fake crypto mining operation, targeted unsuspecting Indian citizens, resulting in a staggering loss of over Rs 100 crore to Indian victims,” the CBI spokesperson said. The officials said that the case was registered based on “critical inputs” provided by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).
They said two cases were registered on a complaint from Amazon and Microsoft that the accused ran call centres and posed as technical support of the companies to target foreign nationals. The officials added that nine call centres were searched by the Central Bureau Investigation (CBI) under the operation.
“In these cases, the accused impersonated a global IT major and a multinational corporation with an online technology-driven trading platform. The accused…operating across five states/UTs, systematically preyed on foreign nationals, masquerading as technical support representatives,” the spokesperson said.
The agency did not share the details of two other cases because of the ongoing operation.
The CBI is working closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States, the Cyber Crime Directorate and IFCACC of the INTERPOL, the National Crime Agency (NCA) in the United Kingdom, the Singapore Police Force and the BKA of Germany to notify further leads.
The officials said the searches were conducted at locations in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Delhi and West Bengal.
“In the wake of Operation Chakra-II, 32 mobile phones, 48 laptops/hard disks, images of two servers, 33 SIM cards, and pen drives were confiscated and numerous bank accounts were frozen. The CBI also seized a dump of 15 email accounts, illuminating the intricate web of deceit spun by the accused,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said international law enforcement agencies are being notified of details of identified victims, shell companies, identified money mules, identified proceeds of crime, and details of co-accused and support elements for comprehensive action to dismantle these criminal networks.
Chakra-1 was conducted nearly a year ago by the CBI in coordination with the Interpol, the FBI and police forces of multiple countries. The agency had conducted searches at 115 locations with police forces in various states, the officials said.