The Bengaluru police have successfully dismantled a cybercrime network responsible for defrauding individuals through enticing investment schemes promoted via instant messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram.
In a significant operation, they froze a total of 84 accounts that had received laundered funds, amounting to ₹5 crore. Shockingly, the cumulative transactions across these 84 accounts amounted to ₹854 crore, highlighting the scale of the scam. Over 5,000 similar complaints concerning these accounts were registered with the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal from multiple states.
While the local police have apprehended a city-based team of six individuals who were operating on a commission basis, the masterminds behind this operation remain unidentified. It is suspected that these kingpins may be overseeing multiple such teams across the country or abroad, suggesting a larger network at play. The gang targeted unsuspecting victims through social media and messaging applications, promising significant returns on investments. As victims invested more substantial sums, sometimes borrowed from friends and family or against valuable assets, the fraudsters vanished, leaving individuals in financial distress.
The breakthrough in cracking this case came when a woman reported investing ₹8.5 lakh in an app called Winegroup.life, only to realize she had been cheated. Investigators managed to freeze all accounts involved in the money laundering process.
It was discovered that one Bengaluru-based entity, Subbu Enterprises, had received funds from a frozen Tamil Nadu-based account, revealing the presence of “mule accounts” used in the scheme. The police subsequently traced the culprits and uncovered a city-based team, but the broader network, potentially operating nationwide, remains a subject of ongoing investigation. The police plan to collaborate with other agencies to identify and apprehend the scam’s masterminds.