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Recruitment racket busted in Vizag | #cybercrime | #infosec


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VISAKHAPATNAM: The Visakhapatnam Cyber Crime Police have busted a criminal network led by consultancy agents who exploited unemployed youth by promising lucrative data entry jobs and big overseas opportunities. These agents, operating from the Gajuwaka area, deceitfully recruited around 150 individuals for supposed computer system operator roles in Cambodia, Myanmar, and Bangkok. However, these positions were fronts for engaging in cybercrime on behalf of Chinese companies.

The scam was uncovered following a complaint from a victim named Botcha Shankar, who managed to escape and reported the crime on the cybercrime helpline. Chukka Rajesh, a 33-year-old former fire safety manager from Gajuwaka, emerged as a central figure in this scheme. The police arrested Rajesh along with his sub-agents Sabbavarapu Kondalarao and Mannena Gnaneshwar Rao.

Explaining the gang’s modus operandi, Police commissioner A Ravi Shankar on Saturday said that after working in the Gulf countries until 2019, Rajesh returned to India, where he was contacted by an individual named Santosh from Cambodia in March, 2023. Santosh claimed to need 30 workers with computer skills and good English for jobs in Cambodia. He instructed Rajesh to collect hefty fees from each recruit, promising to handle their flight and visa arrangements. Unbeknownst to the recruits, they were being sent to commit cybercrimes. The fraudsters sent 27 individuals in three batches to Cambodia, where they were coerced into cybercrime under harsh conditions.

The operation, which included other agents like Arya, Umamahesh, and Habib, involved collecting Rs 1.20 lakh to Rs 1.50 lakh, claiming it covered job placement fees and related expenses, from the recruits. They were sent to Bangkok on visiting visas. From Bangkok, recruits were taken to the Cambodian border, where they obtained Cambodian visas.

The police detailed that the victims were then sold to Chinese companies for $2,500 to $4,000, with the agents receiving a commission of Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 per recruit. In Cambodia, these companies confined the workers, forcing them to execute various cybercrimes and retaining the majority of the profits.

The victims of this extensive scam hail predominantly from regions around Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam, Rajahmundry, Anantapur, Palasa, Tuni, Anakapalli, Telangana, and Kolkata, according to the police.

The nefarious activities coordinated by this network are part of a larger trend of cybercrimes by Chinese nationals, with substantial amounts of money illicitly transferred out of India.

Police advisory

  •  Stay informed

  •  Verify authenticity of calls

  •  Refrain from transferring money based on unsolicited calls

  •  Use 1930 helpline to report cybercrimes for recovery of lost funds

Man loses Rs 1.3 cr

In this year alone, around 12 cases related to FedEx courier scams were registered, involving Rs 5,93,92,375. The 1930 helpline helped freezing Rs 1,04,68,708. On April 20, a businessman from Visakhapatnam lost Rs 1,30,30,639 to a FedEx courier scam. Calling the cybercrime helpline enabled the recovery of Rs 85,70,923.



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National Cyber Security

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