Hyderabad: Seven people, allegedly involved in deceiving foreign nationals under the guise of providing technical services related to international credit cards, were arrested by Cyberabad police on Thursday.
Police seized Rs. 1.11 crore, three cards, four laptops, 23 mobile phones, debit cards, checkbooks and other items from them.
Those arrested were Naveen Bhutani (41 years old), Mohit (32 years old), Nagaraju Bondada (36 years old), Dr Sravan Kumar (42 years old), Monu (33 years old), Sadhanala Mukkanti Srinivasa Rao (36 years old) and P Vennelakanti ( 34 years old).
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Cyberabad Commissioner of Police, Mr Stephen Raveendra has said that an investigation into a complaint made by the Credit Intelligence and Control Unit of HDFC Bank, Hyderabad, regarding suspicious transactions through POS terminals , led to the arrest of the seven-member gang.
In the complaint, it was stated that transactions amounting to Rs. 64.40 lakh were completed within five days by a merchant “Healthy Dental Clinic”.
Announcing the arrest of the gang, Stephen Raveendra said prime suspect Naveen Bhutani, who previously worked in IT companies, set up three call centers with the help of Monu at Janakapuri in New Delhi, Kaushambi in Ghaziabad and Mohali in Punjab.
“Under the guise of providing technical services, the gang deceived several thousand multi-crore international credit card holders into adopting different modus operandi,” he said.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the gang deceived credit card holders from Australia, the United Kingdom and Singapore.
“The gang contacted clients saying their cell phones, computers or laptops were infected with a virus and under the guise of charging them for their services, collected their credit card details and tricked them,” said the commissioner.
Police analyzed data from customer service numbers and found that thousands of incoming calls had been made by cardholders to the companies indicating the scam could be on a larger scale involving several million rupees.
“Forensic auditors will be mobilized to study the transactions of the companies and follow the trail of the money. A few bank accounts were seized as part of the investigation and it is important for us to know where the money collected by them was used or diverted. It’s too early to highlight the money laundering angle, but we’ll go into it,’ said Stephen Raveendra, adding that the police would also speak to the Reserve Bank of India to find out more about the procedure for obtaining payment gateways by various companies.
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