Operation Chakra-II: CBI Uncovers Rs 357 Crore Laundering Network

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New Delhi, 20th October 2023: In a recent development, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has escalated its efforts to combat cyber-financial fraud through Operation Chakra-II, successfully solving two more cases.

In the first case initiated in 2022, the CBI acted on information from the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) and other sources, targeting an international criminal ring involved in deceiving Indian citizens. The scams, which ranged from false investment to loan and job offers, utilized various digital platforms and encrypted messaging apps to lure victims into Ponzi and multi-level marketing schemes.

A sophisticated operation to hide their tracks involved the use of UPI payments, cryptocurrencies, and international money transfers.

Investigators identified 137 shell companies linked to fraudulent activities, many of which were registered in Bangalore. A Bangalore-based payout merchant who controlled 16 bank accounts with a sum of approximately Rs. 357 crore was also identified. Search operations across Bangalore, Cochin, and Gurgaon led to significant evidence, including documents that connected these entities to a foreign national.

In the second case, the CBI addressed cybercrimes that targeted citizens in Singapore. Initial information from Singapore Police Force and INTERPOL led to the discovery of 300 instances of cyber fraud involving over 100 Indian bank accounts. Techniques used by the perpetrators included phishing, vishing, and smishing, among others.

The investigation included the scrutiny of around 150 bank accounts and led to the identification of a large network of cybercriminals spread across multiple Indian cities, including Patna, Kolkata, Lucknow, Varanasi, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Bhopal, Chennai, Kochi, and Madurai.

Incriminating evidence such as false identity proofs and fraudulent banking transactions were seized in raids.

The operation succeeded in unearthing multiple criminal groups focusing on Singaporean nationals, and further investigations are underway.