Odisha EOW Arrests One Scammer In Pan-India Courier Fraud Impersonating NCB, CBI & RBI Officials

Bhubaneswar: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW), Bhubaneswar, has arrested one scammer in connection with a pan-India courier fraud.

The arrested has been identified as Rajat Kumar of Mohalia, a native of Haryana’s Yamuna Nagar. He was nabbed from from Paonta Sahib in Himachal Pradesh’s Sirmur district on February 4.

According to an EOW release, Rajat was arrested on the basis of a complaint filed by Ratna Tripathy of Nayapalli in Bhubaneswar. In June last years, she had received a phone call (VoIP call) from a person, who introduced himself as an employee of FedEx, Hyderabad, and told her that NCB Mumbai officials had seized a parcel containing six passports, a laptop, five ATM cards, 150 grams of narcotics drugs, which was sent to her. When she denied sending or ordering any parcel, the caller asked her to come down to the Narcotic Bureau Cell, Mumbai, to clarify her point. The caller also offered to connect her to one one Mr Gill of Narcotic Bureau, Mumbai, over Skype, if she was unable to come down to Mumbai and warned her not to ignore it as she could be prosecuted under various charges, including narcotics case and money laundering.

Accordingly, she connected through Skype and a person, who introduced himself as Mr. Gill, Head of the Narcotic Bureau Cell, Mumbai, told her that a case of money laundering, narcotics smuggling and violation of crypto norm has been filed against her due to illegal transactions through her bank accounts. He also told her that she had links with gangster Islam Malik. Then she was made to talk to one Dr. Balsing Rajput, IPS, DCP, Cyber Crime, who showed her a document issued by CBI and a letter with the seal of RBI that mentions her involvement in money laundering. He suggested her to send around Rs 1.5 lakh to an account number of FDRBI of RBI for verification to prove her innocence. She was also assured that if nothing illegal/suspicious is found with her bank transactions, the amount will be immediately returned to her within 15 minutes. Out of panic, she sent the amount from her bank accounts through UPI and IMPS. During the conversation for next 10 to 15 minutes, she was given the clean chit but the caller went off line, and her money was never returned as assured.

During investigation, the EOW found that hundreds of people, across the country, had been cheated in a similar manner. “Police believe the scammers as they use the name of real NCB/ CBI/ ED/ IPS officers. However, they don’t show their face in the video chat. They use fake identity cards/certificates which further emboldens the belief that they are genuine.”

“It was found that the amount deposited by victim landed in mule accounts of one Jagdamba Enterprises in Punjab. It was also found that scammers, in just 2-3 days, had extorted Rs 5.58 crore (from many victims across the country using this single account). However this money was further transferred to different mule accounts and ultimately a chunk of it was withdrawn through ATM in Dubai, UAE,” the release said.

The EOW further said that the money transferred from 3 accounts of Tripathy and her son-in-law had landed in the account of Jagadamba Enterprises of which the present arrested accused Rajat Kumar is the authorised signatory. “He is just a part of this larger conspiracy/scam of defrauding the innocent public by blackmailing them in the name of sending/receiving incriminating material/ narcotics drugs  through courier agencies and by impersonating Police, Crime Branch, NCB, CBI and RBI officials.”

With this arrest, the EOW has got vital clues about real masterminds of this scam and the fraudsters sitting in Dubai. “Efforts are on to arrest them. So far, 17 incriminating bank accounts have been frozen in this case. Investigation of the case is continuing,” the release added.

FedEx, in a statement, said that it does not request personal information through unsolicited phone calls, mail, or email for goods being shipped or held, unless requested or initiated by customers. “If any individual receives any suspicious phone calls or messages, they are advised not to provide their personal information. Instead, they should immediately contact the local law enforcement authorities within the vicinity or report to the cybercrime department of the government of India,” it added.

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