Hyderabad: Sleuths of the Enforcement Directorate have booked a money laundering case against the directors of color-prediction game companies run by China-based Beijing T Power. The online-game is turning out to be one of the biggest international scandals in recent times and has swindled around Rs. 1,107 crore already, police said.
ED officials are acting upon an FIR registered by the Hyderabad police’s cybercrime wing. According to the case files shared by the city police, around Rs 1107 crore has been allegedly swindled by the Chinese based company.
The led blew off when Hyderabad's police's cyber crime wing received complaints from two persons who had been cheated by an online gaming website to the tune of Rs. 97,000 and Rs 1,64,000, respectively. The investigation led to the officials arresting four persons, including a Chinese national, and seizing of Rs. 30 crores deposited in two bank accounts. Investigators also found that over Rs. 100 crore has been transferred to China.
Those apprehended are Yah Hao, the Chinese national who is the head of Operations for South East Asia, Directors Dheeraj Sarkar, Ankit Kapoor and Neeraj Tuli.
What is the fraud about?
Unlike other online games, the Chinese-developed color-prediction game’s website does not appear on Google. Specific links are shared on Telegram groups which leads a person to the game. It is similar to the chain-system, where the admin receives a commission for adding more participants.
According to the police, the fraudsters were luring prospective gamers through Telegram groups. Entry was by reference only and members who introduce a certain number of new members were paid commission. The admins of these groups would tell players about the websites where the registered members could play games and place bets. These websites changed every day. One such game was called Colour Prediction where players placed bets on colours, said the police. Meanwhile, bank accounts and payment gateways were linked to the companies Linkyun, Dokypay, SpotPay, and several others, the police have found.
Many have reportedly lost huge sum of money by placing bets while others lucky gained money. The games caters to audience across South-Asia, Cops said. The quantum of the fraud would be larger than expected.
The group constantly tried to establish new companies and move operations from one company to another. The names of some of these companies were Growing Infotech Pvt. Ltd, Sily Consulting Services Pvt. Ltd, Pan Yun Technology Services, Linkyun Technology Pvt. Ltd, Dokypay Technology Pvt. Ltd, SpotPay Technology India Pvt. Ltd, Daisylink Financial Pvt. Ltd, and Huahuo Financial Pvt. Ltd.
The domain name and servers of the gaming websites were based out of China and the data hosting services were Cloud-based in the US and operated from China. The entire technical operation was run by the China-based directors and partners of these companies. The payments were being routed through India-based payment service providers or gateways like PayTM.