Guj: Two detained in connection with Rs 520 crore mobile application scam

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Surat, Jun 10 (PTI) The Surat police in Gujarat have detained two persons, who were wanted in connection with a Rs 520 crore mobile application scam, an official said on Thursday. The police have nabbed Magdalla Road resident Vijay Vanzara and Jay Parekh, a resident of Adajan in Surat city, who were wanted by the Bengaluru police for allegedly cheating lakhs of people, the official said.

As per a release issued by the Surat police, the Bengaluru police were searching for the duo, after a complaint of cheating and a case under the Information Technology Act was registered against them.

The duo was part of a larger network, which had cheated more than five lakh people from different parts of the country, of over Rs 520 crore in two months on the pretext of providing lucrative returns on investments through two mobile applications, the release stated.

The Delhi police's cyber cell had on Wednesday arrested 11 men, including two chartered accountants, in this cheating case, it stated.

Vanzara and Parekh had helped the main culprits in setting up a bogus company in Surat to divert the fraudulently acquired money from the victims, the police said.

In order to dodge the authorities, the duo had declared that the company receives payments from online gaming, eCommerce and other social media operations, it said.

As per the release, the investigations had revealed that the company was one of the several bogus firms, which were set up just to receive the fraudulently acquired funds and then transfer it to the masterminds.

The main accused held by Delhi police had made mobile apps - Power Bank and EZPlan, which offered lucrative returns on investments, the release said.

The Power Bank app projected itself as a Bengaluru-based start-up, but its server was traced to China, it stated.

In order to entice a large number of people to invest more money, the accused gave a small payout amounting to 5 to 10 per cent of the invested money. After gaining trust, people started investing more money and circulating and sharing the apps with their friends and relatives, the police said.

It was found that the accused had created a web of around 25 shell companies for routing the fraud money. These companies were located in different parts of the country, and the money was being moved from one account to another to hide the trail, the release said. PTI COR PJT ARU ARU

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