Malayali link to international lottery fraud

Malayali link to international lottery fraud

A Malayali is suspected to be the ringleader of an international gang that uses Pakistan mobile numbers to defraud people claiming that they have won a lottery. A CBI investigation is going on.

Jasbar, who hails from Kerala’s Kozhikode, is under the CBI scanner following CBI’s investigations into an input that international gangs involving Indian and Pakistani nationals are cheating people by making them part with money to claim lotteries that do not exist.

The racket has been in operation from at least 2012, when one of the victims, Sayed Jahor from Maharashtra’s Akola, had received phone calls from three Pakistani numbers — 00923055576936, 00923058593943 and 00923009740965 — informing him that he had won Rs 25 lakh in a ‘ lottery.

Jahor transfered Rs 37,000 in two instalments as “processing fees” to one K Iqbal, a resident of Kozhikode. “The amount that was promised to him in the lottery was never paid to him,” the CBI said.

According to the CBI FIR, it came to light during the investigation that Iqbal handed over his account details to Jasbar in “good faith” after the latter claimed that he wanted someone to transfer money from Gulf countries.

“All the money deposited in this account (Iqbal’s) was purportedly withdrawn by Jasbar,” it said.

“Verification revealed that Jasbar was operating this account, in which the victims had deposited the money. Further, it has also come to fore that some other unknown persons are also involved in this racket along with Jasbar,” the FIR said.

A government notification had said that the CBI preliminary enquiry into the suspected cheating of people by an international gang had found that “the members of the gang, using Pakistan cell phone numbers, used to contact people of India informing them they have won some lottery”. They were urged to deposit processing fees for claiming the lottery.

Officials said many people had fallen into the trap and lost lakhs of rupees. Since it had international ramifications, the CBI decided to take up the investigations after nod from Kerala and Maharashtra governments to take up the case.