The Cyber Cell of the Agra Commissionerate has taken significant action against foreign fraudsters who were swindling money under the guise of online betting, just before the Cricket World Cup. They have blocked 9 mobile apps and 27 websites involved in online betting and gaming.
These apps and websites were operating on foreign servers, including those in China, to deceive Indian users. Initially, they would offer users a chance to win money, only to scam them later. After extracting substantial sums, they would vanish without a trace. The police have frozen 6,000 bank accounts and 18,000 virtual accounts, amounting to a whopping 4.2 billion rupees in transactions over the past year.
The money was being converted into cryptocurrencies and transferred abroad. The police conducted a live demonstration of online gambling during a press briefing on Wednesday, revealing that the entire online betting operation was running on foreign servers.
The police were aware that the official host, live content, and live games of the Star India company were being illegally displayed through third-party apps and web portals. A case was registered in Shahganj police station in June regarding this matter. The Cyber Cell team extended its investigation to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
Three suspects have been arrested in connection with the case. The police investigation uncovered a shocking revelation that live streaming was being conducted through servers in China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Russia, and other countries. Illegal betting and gaming were being conducted, with millions transferred from rented bank and virtual accounts.
The investigation also revealed that links to these apps and websites were sent on Instagram, Telegram, and Signal. People were tricked into downloading these apps, and they were charged subscription fees ranging from 300 to 500 rupees. Afterward, they would place bets on live cricket matches, football games, rugby, and more.
The police have reached out to the Ministry of Home Affairs and service providers for assistance. As a result, the apps and websites have been shut down. Approximately 6,000 bank accounts and 18,000 virtual accounts associated with these have also been frozen. However, it has been observed that new websites are created within a week of the previous ones being shut down, prompting continuous action by the police.