Online Ponzi Scam: Fraudster arrested from Kerala for duping Odisha investors

Bhubaneswar: The Economic Offence Wing (EOW) has arrested the director of a shell company from Kerala today in connection with an major online ponzi scam where many investors from Odisha were duped.

The accused Dileep Kumar (35), who runs a Kerala-based shell company PRIWEST GLOBAL SOLUTION PVT LTD and is also the Founder cum Managing Trustee of OMANA FOUNDATION PUBLIC CHARITABLE TRUST, Coimbatore, was nabbed following a police complaint filed by over 800 duped investors from Ganjam district in Odisha.

He was produced before local court in Kerala and is being brought to Odisha on six days’ transit remand for his production before the Odisha Protection of Interests of Depositors (OPID) court in Berhampur.

As per the FIR, the accused had defrauded lakhs of investors across the country by asking them to register with (a gaming app) in the name of football betting for earning quick returns. Probe revealed that the accused’s company was being utilised to channelize the ill-gotten money of this scam.

EOW could trace around Rs 19.49 Crore to have been routed using this company. The charitable trust was being used to channelize the crime proceeds of this scam and around 4000 to 5000 illegal transactions were being done in the bank accounts of both the firms.

Official sources said this was a hybrid model of fraud where Ponzi scheme running online from a website which was registered in HONGKONG (China) and also operated from Dubai. Investors were promised of giving lucrative benefits like 3% daily compound return on investment, recharge bonus, referral bonus, extra bonus on the earning of the down- line members, salary bonus, daily withdrawal option etc with a designated toll free number 18003457103.

They were asked to create an account with “” either by application or through offline referral link, and were being asked to bet money in some football matches as prescribed in website/ APP. Investors were also provided with the so called foreigner “mentor” to assist them in betting. These mentors used to communicate through telegram or Apps only. There were extra bonus or commission for introducing and recruiting new members.

In order to promote and to allure the innocent public, the fraudsters were also taking up the promotional activities like some social works, charity etc. in the rural areas and giving it huge publicity so that people will consider this scheme as a bonafide organisation. The fraudsters although initially paid the promised return for some few days to the investors, yet in the latter stage when the membership increased, stopped making any payment and closed the app.

Earlier in this case, two directors of Kolkata based shell company “Hakim & Rustam Fabrics Pvt. Ltd” and one director of a shell company “Edudaddy Institute of Advance Studies Pvt Ltd” had been arrested from Kolkata and Udaipur in Rajasthan, respectively.

The EOW also informed that scammers used multiple shell companies and their directors to route the ill-gotten money. They also used mule accounts for multi-layering of money transaction to confuse the law enforcement agencies. They used to get the directions from one Md Sheikh Saif from Dubai against whom a Look Out Circular had been issued.

“The fraud by has got all-India ramifications, and the fraud amount involved is suspected to be more than Rs.1000 Crore, out of which EOW has been able to trace transaction of approximately Rs. 525 Crores till now. Investigation of the case is continuing,” official sources informed.

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