Warangal Urban: In a joint operation, the Task Force and the Inthezargunj police busted a 13-member gang for allegedly cheating people in the name of ‘gifts for online shopping’ here on Friday. They seized Rs 14.36 lakh, 15 mobile phones and scratch cards from their possession.
Disclosing the details to the media, Police Commissioner Tarun Joshi said the 13-member gang from Bellampalli of Macherial district started their online fraud from an apartment in Kolkata, West Bengal.
“The gang members collect details of individuals/customers who purchase items from the e-commerce portals, including ‘Naaptol’, in collusion with the employees of the said companies, and send a scratch card along with a letter to the individuals through post or courier. If any individual opens the scratch card and contacts the accused on a call centre number/WhatsApp number, the gang swings into action explaining the formalities to customers how to claim the scratch card benefits (vehicle or cash). Those formalities were also mentioned in the letter sent along with the scratch card. They also ask customers to send their Aadhaar and PAN details through WhatsApp to process the prize money. After receiving the said documents, the accused ask customers to pay 1 per cent of tax (about Rs 12,000) to claim the prize money (Prizes will be cars, money, etc),” he explained.
“If anyone pays initial tax amount of Rs 12,000, then the accused insist the individual pay an insurance (3 per cent), transport charges (3 per cent) and income tax (4 per cent). Approximately, they collect Rs 70,000 to Rs 1 lakh in case of a four-wheeler and switch off the phone from which they communicated with the customer,” he added.
It is said that the kingpins, Prajeet alias Pradeep, Damodar alias Damu Bhai, Sanjeev, and Raj Kumar, hired individuals from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh, and paid them 30 per cent commission.
While the total number of accused is 22, the police arrested 13 of them, and nine are at large. The arrested were Ippa Raj Kumar, Thallapally Damodhar Goud alias Damu, Dasari Harish Goud of Bellampalli town, Mekala Aditya of Gudipelli village, Akurnuri Sravan Kumar of Mancherial, Gangadhari Rakesh of Chakalpalli, Porandla Vijay of Bellampalli, Eeda Ravi Kumar of Ponnaram, Darsha Ganesh of Bellampalli, Sirikonda Vinod Kumar of Mandamarri, Gangadhari Ramchander of Bellampalli, and Adepu Siddarth of St Mary Colony of Peddapalli district.
“A total of seven cases were registered against the accused under the Intezargun, Station Ghanapur, Zaffargadh, Geesukonda and Khanapur police station limits,” according to CP Joshi.
The gang cheated people to the tune of Rs 2.5 crore in the last three years from Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
“In view of West Bengal elections, the gang has temporarily stopped their operations anticipating frequent police checks, but due to the pressure from Pradeep and Sanjeev, they again decided to go to Kolkata. On credible information about their plan, the Task Force team, along with Inthezargunj police, apprehended them outside the Warangal Railway Station,” the CP added.
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