Hyderabad: The Hyderabad cyber crimes police arrested 10 persons on 16 October for impersonating as Army officers and cheating several people through OLX in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and other states. All the accused are residents of Bharatpur in Rajasthan.

Meanwhile, the Hyderabad cyber crime police and the Bharatpur police, while conducting raids to catch the accused, faced strong resistance from the villagers of Chulhera and Kalyanpur who attacked the cops, pelted stones and threw chilli power at them to stop the arrest. The local police had to use tear gas and were able to apprehend the accused persons. Three police vehicles were damaged in the operation. A case under Section 353 of the IPC and PDPP Act was registered at the Khoh police station of Bharatpur district for obstructing the police and damaging their vehicle.

The 10 have been identified as Vajib Khan, Sahil, Sahid, Umer Khan, Satvirsingh, Ifran, Tarif, Mohan Singh, Azaruddin, and Rahul. They were involved in three cases registered at the cyber crime police station, Hyderabad. Incriminating material was also seized from their possession.

One of the gang’s victims was Sudhir Kumar, a resident of Mettuguda. In his complaint, Mr. Kumar said that on 27 February this year he saw an advertisement for a car being sold on OLX for Rs. 50,000. Next day, he called the seller who introduced himself as Rathan Lal, an Army officer working at Shamshabad airport.

After negotiations, Mr. Kumar agreed to purchase the car for Rs. 35,000. The seller asked him to transfer Rs. 5,170 which Mr. Kumar did. The seller sent the vehicle documents, his Aadhaar card and Army identity card, transport receipt, and his photo in Army uniform to the complainant.

On 29 February, the seller asked Mr. Kumar to transfer the remaining Rs. 30,000 to his PayTM account and the latter paid the same. Citing various reasons, the seller asked Mr. Kumar to transfer a total of Rs. 56,440. After receiving the amount, the accused switched off his mobile phone.

According to the police, the group has been cheating the public since May 2018 through OLX, Quickr, and Facebook marketplace through fake advertisements regarding sale of vehicles, mobile phones, furniture, and electronic gadgets at low prices. They posed as Army and CISF personnel and sent soft copies of fake Aadhar and identity cards of Defense personnel to gain the confidence of the people.

Initially, the fraudsters would ask the victims to pay an advance to confirm his purchase telling them that he wanted to sell the item urgently as he had been transferred to another place. Once they gained their trust, the accused persons asked the victims to deposit huge sums of money through various online payment methods on the pretext of gate pass charges, shipment charges, insurance charges, and delivery charges. Once the victims realized that they had been cheated, the fraudsters stopped picking their calls. The gang had cheated several people all over the country in the same way.

So far, the cyber crime police have arrested 18 persons from Bharatpur in Rajasthan. On 9 October, eight persons, all residents of Bharatpur, were brought to Hyderabad and remanded in judicial custody. They were involved in seven cases registered at the cyber crime police station besides other cases in Telangana and other states.

NM

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