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Navi Mumbai man loses Rs 19 lakh in cryptocurrency fraud

Updated on: 04 January,2024 09:39 PM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

Navi Mumbai police Thursday said that a 37-year-old resident has been duped of nearly Rs 19 lakh in a cryptocurrency fraud

Navi Mumbai man loses Rs 19 lakh in cryptocurrency fraud

Representational Picture/iStock

The Navi Mumbai police on Thursday said that a 37-year-old resident was duped of nearly Rs 19 lakh in a cryptocurrency fraud.

The victim fell prey to an elaborate cryptocurrency fraud orchestrated by three alleged fraudsters last month, newswire PTI reported quoting Police. The victim registered a complaint with the Navi Mumbai Cyber Police on Wednesday.

A case has been filed under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and further investigation was underway, said a Cyber Police official.

The victim was contacted by the fraudsters through a WhatsApp number and a Telegram ID and they convinced him to invest in a cryptocurrency, a type of digital asset used as an alternative payment method, by promising lucrative returns, he said.

The Navi Mumbai resident, trusting the purported investment opportunity, ended up transferring Rs 18,90,000 to various bank accounts given by the fraudsters between December 7 and 11, said the police official.

As the victim eagerly awaited returns on his investment, the accused stopped communicating with him, leading the former to lodge a complaint with the Cyber Police.

Also read: Borivali Police nabs chain snatcher involved in multiple cases in Mumbai

The Cyber Police are utilizing technological means to trace the fraudsters and retrieve the defrauded amount, said the official.

In October, the Navi Mumbai cyber police froze several bank accounts involving amounts worth Rs 32.66 crore in cryptocurrency fraud.

Senior police inspector Gajanan Kadam of the cyber police station in Navi Mumbai told news agency PTI that they received a cheating complaint in August from a man who claimed to have invested more than Rs 6.6 crore in cryptocurrency trading.

The man stated in the complaint that a woman caller befriended him and later asked him to invest in cryptocurrency trading while assuring good returns, according to the PTI report.

As the complainant started investing huge amounts, he received a total of Rs 75 lakh in returns on various occasions, but later stopped getting the same, the official said.

An offence in this connection was registered with the cyber police under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act.

A police probe team enquired with various banks where the money was paid by the complainant and as a first step, got accounts involving amounts worth Rs 32,66,12,091 frozen over the last few weeks, the official said.

Based on several leads, the probe team in the last week of September zeroed-in on two persons from Ghatkopar in neighbouring Mumbai.

The police later arrested the two persons, identified as Balu Sakharam Khandagale (42) and Rajendra Ramkhilavan Patel (52), the official said.

During the probe, it was revealed that the arrested persons had handed over mobile numbers, bank account details, cheque books and ATM cards of various persons to others involved in the crime. (With inputs from agencies)

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