Bhopal: An online lottery racket allegedly being operated from Pakistan was busted by Madhya Pradesh Police`s CID with the arrest of three persons and recovery of Rs 21 lakh cash from them.
The racket allegedly used hawala route to transfer the money to Pakistan after duping people in the name of winning an internet lottery worth millions of US dollars, Crime Investigation Department`s (CID) Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Rajeev Tandon said yesterday.
The modus operandi of the racket involved sending e-mails and making phone calls to gullible people that they have won a lottery worth millions of US dollars and also sending them a scanned copy of a printed cheque to lure them, Tandon said.
The e-mails were sent by Pakistan-based members of the racket, he said.
Later, they would ask the people to deposit certain amount of money, ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs one lakh, in the name of bank processing fee or custom duty and provide an account number of a nationalised bank to avoid any suspicion.
The accounts in the nationalised banks were opened with fake documents and also in the name of poor people by offering them money through their Indian counterparts.
The gang members used to keep the ATM cards of such accounts with them only, he said.
Since the gullible people thought that they had a receipt of the amount deposited in the bank, they believed that they were not being fooled, police said.
The CID came to know about the racket following a complaint after which it zeroed-in on Vishnu Prajapati, Brajesh Rajput and Rajiv Patel.
The trio were living in Bhopal and operating the racket in connivance with their Pakistan-based operators, Tandon said.
Once a person got trapped in their design and deposited money of the specified amounts, the trio used to withdraw it through ATM and after keeping their commission, transferred the major amount through hawala route to their Pakistan-based handlers.
The CID arrested the three men yesterday and besides recovering Rs 21 lakh cash, it also seized a currency counting machine, 37 ATMs of different accounts in nationalised banks, 25 SIM cards and six cell phones.
Vishnu Prajapati originally hails from Gujarat while the other two are from Madhya Pradesh.