India: 16 arrested in connection with online betting scam
Those arrested are accused of cheating people out of money using the Mahadev app.
India.- Some 16 people have been arrested in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, for alleged involvement in an illegal online betting operation said to be worth over ₹4,000 crore. The suspects were reportedly operating from a three-story bungalow and allegedly stole over ₹405 crore in two months using the Mahadev Book app.
The police have frozen ₹1.86 crore in suspects’ bank accounts. They seized 12 laptops, 73 smartphones, six passbooks, 90 ATM cards, 58 Sim cards, and six passports. The suspects were taken into custody under sections of the Indian Penal Code and the IT Act.
According to Hindustan Times, Harish Chander, deputy commissioner of police in Noida, said: “Through text messages, they lured people to download the Mahadev app by claiming users could earn quick money.
“Users who downloaded the app were asked to pay small amounts of money to play games on it. If a user won a game, he or she would earn even more money as a reward. In this way, the user would begin trusting the gaming app and start investing larger amounts of money. However, as the games were being operated by the suspects, they would cheat and not let the user win.”
Earlier this week, the Indian Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) ordered the blocking of 138 offshore betting and gambling sites and apps, as well as over 90 unauthorised apps offering loans.