The Thane Police has busted a inter-state racket and arrested 24 persons for allegedly cheating scores of people by fraudulently collecting money in the name of a multi-level marketing business, police said on Saturday. Out of the 24, 18 were arrested on April 23 this year, while the remaining were held subsequently, Deputy
Commissioner of Police (Crime), Navi Mumbai, Tushar Joshi said in a press note issued in Thane today.
Most of the arrested persons were held from Delhi, Gujarat and Maharashtra, while the police suspect that the number of victims, spread in various cities, may run into thousands, the officer said. According to police, the accused began their operations at the beginning of this year. The case is being investigated by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW), Crime Branch, Navi Mumbai Police.
The senior official explaining the modus operandi said, the accused collected an amount of Rs 11,900 from each person and in return promised them good return.
The accused told them that their money will be invested under schemes run by companies - 'Onecoin' and 'Onelife', which are based abroad. They said the returns will come through 'crypto currency', which will be launched in India in 2018.
Crypto currency is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange using cryptography to secure the transactions. When police enquired about any such currency being planned to be launched in the country next year, with the RBI and other financial institutions, they were told that there is no such plan, though crypto currency is prevalent in some foreign countries.
To make people believe in their plan, the accused also held several seminars in many cities, the DCP said. The money was collected by agents, appointed by firms
'Onecoin' and 'Onelife' in India, who asked people to deposit the sum (Rs 11,900) in different bank accounts. Later, the accused siphoned off the money from the
accounts. The DCP said they have frozen a total of 32 bank accounts of different banks. Police is currently investigating the exact amount duped by accused, which they estimate will run into multiple crores, and are also ascertaining the number of victims.
A case with EOW, Crime Branch, Navi Mumbai Police was lodged on April 23, under IPC sections 415 (cheating by deceiving any person, fraudulently or dishonestly), 420 (cheating), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent), and rw 34 (common intention).
The police has also appealed to people to not believe anyone if approached with such lucrative money making financial schemes.
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