Mumbai crime: 21-year-old man arrested in fake social media followers case

Updated: 20 September, 2020 08:59 IST | Vishal Singh | Mumbai

Vijay is suspected to have completed approximately 9,000 orders resulting in lakhs of followers/views/likes, etc

Vijay Surendra Banthia
Vijay Surendra Banthia

The Special Investigation Team (SIT), constituted for investigation into social media marketing fraud case, arrested 21-year-old Vijay Surendra Banthia from Prithviraj Nagar in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur.

The accused person operates several portals that provide fake followers, views, subscribers, likes, etc. to profiles on various social media platforms such as Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Vijay is suspected to have completed approximately 9,000 orders resulting in lakhs of followers/views/likes, etc. His payment transactions were reflected in the investigation of accused Kashif Tanwar, who was arrested earlier.

The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) in Mumbai had issued a warrant in this regard. Vijay was produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate on September 17 and was brought to Mumbai on transit remand. He was produced before the CMM on Saturday and was sent to crime branch custody till September 21.

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Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh had constituted an SIT under the supervision of DCP (Detection) to investigate the matters of identity theft and also social media influencers’ fraud racket.

The SIT has, so far, identified 79 portals engaged in supply of such fake followers/views/likes, etc. Vijay had been operating through several such portals, which were under the radar. He is the fourth arrest in the case.

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First Published: 20 September, 2020 09:30 IST

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