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Raid at bungalow in Lonavala, 15 held for ‘duping US citizens through fraudulent voice mails’

Police said some of the accused used computer software and internet tools to contact US citizens and forwarded fraudulent voice mails to them with threats of legal action.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
May 14, 2021 10:58:52 pm
Police said that the accused were operating from the bungalow since July 2020 and procured details of several US citizens through illegal means.

Police have arrested a group of 15 from a bungalow in Lonavala for allegedly cheating several US citizens by sending them fraudulent “voice mails” threatening legal action against them.

According to police, following a tip-off to senior inspector Padmakar Ghanwat, a team of the local crime branch of Pune rural police raided a bungalow in the Indrayani society in Lonavala on Thursday.

Police said they arrested 15 people, including eight from Thane, six from Mumbai and one from Navi Mumbai. The bungalow was in possession of an accused, identified as Vinod Rai, who is a resident of Thane, police added.

A press release issued by police stated that the accused were operating from this bungalow since July 2020 and procured details of several US citizens through illegal means.

Police said some of the accused used computer software and internet tools to contact these US citizens and forwarded fraudulent voice mails to them with threats of legal action.

The accused asked them to purchase gift cards from various stores to settle these disputes, police said. It was suspected that after the American nationals would purchase these gift cards, the fraudsters would take the details of these gift cards from them and convert them into Indian currency via online transactions, police added.

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Police said they also found illegal plantation of marijuana in the premises of the bungalow in Lonavala, and that 430 gm marijuana worth Rs 6,000 was seized from the spot.

The accused were booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, Information Technology Act and Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. Havaldar Suryakant Wani lodged the FIR in this case at Lonavala rural police station.

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