Online gaming racket busted in Visakhapatnam, 19 people arrested

₹5 crore was found in the 71 bank accounts of the accused, 53 mobile phones and seven laptops seized from them, says Police Commissioner

June 03, 2023 06:56 pm | Updated 10:45 pm IST - VISAKHAPATNAM

Police Commissioner C.M. Trivikrama Varma addressing the media in Visakhapatnam on Saturday.

Police Commissioner C.M. Trivikrama Varma addressing the media in Visakhapatnam on Saturday. | Photo Credit: K.R. DEEPAK

The city police busted an online gaming/betting racket and arrested 19 persons which was being organised from a house in the name of online grocery business at Madhurawada under PM Palem police station limits here.

The police have written to the 14 different banks to freeze ₹5 crore, which was found in 71 banks accounts of the accused. The police have seized 53 mobile phones and seven laptops from them.

Following instructions from Police Commissioner C.M. Trivikarama Varma, a City Task Force (CTF) team raided a house and busted the racket. The case was further investigated by the cybercrime team.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Mr. Trivikrama Varma said that initially an accused named Ajit Kumar had approached a building owner and took a house on rent agreement on the pretext of running online grocery business. Later, he handed over the house to another person named Prateek Mishra. Prateek had contacts with some person from the online betting platform, to whom he had paid ₹20 lakh to get franchise and started the betting business. Prateek had hired 20 youth aged between 20 and 29 years, all belonging to Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Gujarat states, through whom the business was reportedly operated.

“After paying a registration fee starting from around ₹5,000, the platform gives an ID and password. The user can log in and start playing online betting games. Then to lure him/her, the app developers gift them with more money than what they would got otherwise. This makes the user to invest more. Later at some point when money invested is huge, the accused would block the user,” the Police Commissioner said.

He said that the accused have been using bank accounts of various people probably poor from various places. “When we have checked the 71 bank accounts, we found ₹5 crore,” the Police Commissioner added.

‘Victims should contact police’

Mr. Trivikrama Varma said that any person from Visakhapatnam and surrounding areas, if at all cheated by online applications could approach the city police immediately. “We would take steps to retrieve the amount, if proper evidence is provided,” he said.

The Visakhapatnam police would inform the Enforcement Directorate about the case for further investigation, as the online betting app has cases in many more States, he added.

DCP (Zone II) K. Anand Reddy, DCP Crimes G. Naganna and others were present.

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