The district police arrested five persons for posing to be senior officials of the Ministry of Petroleum and duping people on the pretext of issuing them licences for opening filling stations. The police also recovered Rs 4.90 lakh, one Mahindra Scorpio SUV, and two laptops from them.
The police were also able to identify 21 bank accounts related to the accused which were used in the fraud. The accused had got deposited Rs one crore from various people.
The accused were identified as Asif (38), Mahinder Singh (25), Bhrahm Parkash (41), Jatinder Singh (29) and Akash (25). All the accused belong to Uttar Pradesh (UP).
Disclosing the details, SP (Detective) Harman Hans said that the Cyber Cell of the district police received a complaint from Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) around twenty days ago about some people using fake websites of different oil companies to dupe the people following which a case was registered under sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating), 465 (forgery), 467 (forgery of valuable security)and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at Matour police station on May 15 and accused Asif was arrested during the investigation.
DSP (Cyber Cell) Rupinder Kaur Sohi, said that during Asif’s interrogation, the names of other accused came to light and they found that Akash was the kingpin of the racket and would call people posing as an IAS officer and Joint Secretary of Petroleum Department.
“All the accounts belong to Asif. The other accused used to give him Rs 10,000 for each bank account. Mahinder used to create the fake websites, The accused used to charge Rs 15,000 for applying, after which they used to ask for Rs 90,000 more in the name of conducting ground surveys of the areas where the filling station was to be allotted,” DSP Rupinder Kaur revealed.
Stating further, she added that Akash has a criminal background and was booked in eight cases in Hamirpur area of UP, for carrying illegal weapons.
The police initiated the process of freezing the bank accounts. Replying to a question about the victims, SP Harman Han said that a woman from UP and a man from Chattisgarh had already approached them and more people are likely to come forward.
“The accused used to give online advertisements to lure the people,” SP Hans said.
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