UP police busts Rs 3,700 crore online racket; 3 arrested

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Noida, Feb 3: At a time when Narendra Modi government is stressing on the need to go digital, a massive online racket has come to light in the national capital region on Thursday. The news of the internet fraud has sent shock waves among customers across the country.

Three persons alleged to have duped nearly 6.5 lakh people of Rs. 3,700 crore through an online portal have been arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police. Busting one of the biggest internet frauds, the Special Task Force of the police arrested the trio of Anubhav Mittal, Sridhar Prasad and Mahesh Dayal from Sector 63 in Noida on Wednesday and seized nearly Rs. 500 crore.

Cyber Crime

"The accused used to run a portal 'socialtrade.biz' under which an investor had to pay anything between Rs. 5,750 to Rs. 57,500 in the company's account to become the member and earn Rs. 5 per click.

"Registered under the name of Ablaze Info Solutions Pvt Ltd in Noida, they used to constantly change the portal's name. So far, they defrauded over 6.5 lakh people collecting around Rs. 3,700 crore," Superintendent of Police (Uttar Pradesh, STF) Triveni Singh, told IANS.

Mittal, said to be the kingpin, holds a B Tech degree and hails from Ghaziabad. Prasad is from Andhra Pradesh's Visakhapatnam and Dayal is from Mathura in Uttar Pradesh.

Launched in August 2015, the portal offered four different 'packages' to the investors to earn money. After paying the money to the company, the investors were asked to like pages and click on the links they were sent.

"The company claimed it earned Rs. 6 for every click and gave Rs. 5 of it to the investors. However, the links sent by the company were fake," said the officer, adding that they were looking for other people suspected to be involved in the fraud.

Besides seizing Rs. 500 crore from a bank, police have seized various documents including the balance sheet of the company, list of directors and other officials and list of investors.

The STF has also informed the Reserve Bank of India, the Income Tax department and market regulator SEBI about the case.

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