Mumbai: 72-year-old Bandra man conned out of Rs 2 crore

Cyber crime cell nabs the four accused, one of whom posed as US soldier to befriend senior citizen 

Vinod Kumar Ghuwalewala
Vinod Kumar Ghuwalewala

The Cyber Crime Investigation Cell (CCIC) of the Mumbai Economic Offences Wing busted an interstate cyber racket and arrested four gang members for allegedly cheating a 72-year-old Bandra resident of R2 crore.

One of the accused befriended Vinod Kumar Ghuwalewala on Facebook in March 2016. He had convinced Ghuwalewala to help him start a business in India for which he claimed to have deposited R3.32 crore as investment.

On realising he had been duped, Ghuwalewala lodged a complaint with the Bandra police. The matter was transferred to CCIC for investigation. CCIC officials arrested four members of the gang — Mangal Bishnoi, Jitendra Rathod, Samir Merchand and Paresh Nimbad -- on Friday while they were coming out of a bank in Kandivli. Cash of R9 lakh, 50 ATM cards and cheques and 11 mobile phones were recovered from them.

How they operate
One of the arrested accused befriended Ghuwalewala posing as Rayon John (name changed) on Facebook. John had introduced himself as an American soldier posted in Afghanistan. John told Ghuwalewal that he could invest up to R3.32 crore if he became his business partner. "Ghuwalewala agreed, following which John sent the certificate of deposit (of the fund) authorised by the US Army Corp to a nationalised bank's Delhi branch," said an officer.

Deposits in 10 accounts
Ghuwalewala was then contacted by a woman executive from the bank informing him that an email comprising a copy of certificate of deposit of $5,00,000 (R3.32 crore) had been received. Ghuwalewala also received an e-mail regarding the same from the bank's official email ID. He then contacted the bank executive who asked him to deposit some money to open an account in order to withdraw money.

"Ghuwalewala was made to deposit money in various accounts to claim the money. He ended up depositing nearly R2 crore in 10 bank accounts," said another officer. The fraudsters cut all communication and Ghuwalewala realised that he had been cheated.

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