The Economic Offence Wing of Odisha police has arrested one S. Chitravel, who is said to be India head of Chinese earning application (online ponzi scam), from Aviyur near Madurai in Tamil Nadu.
He was arrested on August 14 and subsequently produced before a local Tamil Nadu court.
He was later produced before Odisha Protection of Interests of Depositors (OPID) Court, Cuttack. The court remanded him to police custody for five days.
The mastermind of this scam is Guanhua Wang (40) of Hangzhou, China. Wang was also earlier involved in the dubious online loan scam. Many victims who were trapped in the loan scam had died by suicide. Subsequently, law enforcement agencies had started crackdown against Chinese Loan Apps and government had also banned many such loan apps.
After banning of the loan apps, Chinese nationals had started running earning apps with a promise of doubling or tripling money in a very short time. They ultimately duped huge amounts from poor investors through online betting and other App based cyber-financial frauds. The group used morphed photos of celebrities such as Amitabh Bachchan, Mukesh Ambani, Ratan Tata, Sachin Tendulkar and Technical Guruji (famous You Tuber) to lure the new investors.
Wang and two Chinese nationals had visited India six times in 2019 and 2020, mainly Bangalore. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they started operating this scam from China with the help of many India-based associates, who looked after the managing and arranging of mule bank accounts, shell companies and crypto-traders, Whatsapp and Telegram group tutors. The group were also running advertisement using morphed photos of celebrities.
“Initial investigations suggest siphoning of more than ₹100 crores by Wang and his company. Wang and his friends had created at least three shell companies based in Bangalore to run different cyber-financial scams. Chitravel was made director of Bettec Technologies Private Limited, one of such companies. During COVID time, the trio went back to China but continued running the scam through Chitravel and some other such hired directors and facilitators,” said Jai Narayan Pankaj, Chief of EOW, Odisha. Chitravel used to allegedly get ₹1 lakh per month to run the illegal scam in India.
Earlier, on the request of EOW, Odisha, Bureau of Immigration (BOI), Ministry of Home affairs had issued Look Out Circular against one Guanhua Wang, the main accused in the online Ponzi scam.