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137 Indian nationals arrested in Sri Lanka for cybercrime operations: Police

The crackdown follows a complaint from a victim who was lured into a WhatsApp group promising cash for social media interactions. It is suspected that they were involved in financial fraud, illegal betting and various activities of gambling.
Last Updated : 28 June 2024, 08:42 IST

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Colombo: As many as 137 Indian nationals who were allegedly involved in a large-scale online financial scam across multiple locations were arrested by Sri Lanka's Criminal Investigations Department.

They were arrested on Thursday from the Colombo suburbs of Madiwela and Battaramulla and the western coastal town of Negombo, said Police Spokesman SSP Nihal Thalduwa was quoted as saying by Daily Mirror newspaper.

He said the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) conducted simultaneous raids in these areas, leading to the seizure of 158 mobile phones, 16 laptops, and 60 desktop computers.

In Negombo, 55 suspects were detained along with 55 mobile phones and 29 laptops.

Similarly, in Kochchikade, authorities apprehended 53 individuals and confiscated 31 laptops and 58 mobile phones.

The operation in Madiwela led to the arrest of 13 suspects and recovery of eight laptops and 38 mobile phones, while in Thalangama, 16 suspects were taken into custody with eight laptops and 38 mobile phones.

The SSP said that all the arrested suspects were males.

The crackdown follows a complaint from a victim who was lured into a WhatsApp group promising cash for social media interactions.

Further investigation revealed a scheme where victims were coerced into making deposits after initial payments. In Peradeniya, a father-son duo admitted to aiding the fraudsters, the newspaper reported.

Key evidence uncovered during a luxury house raid in Negombo led to the initial arrest of 13 suspects and the seizure of 57 phones and computers.

Subsequent operations in Negombo yielded 19 additional arrests, exposing international links in Dubai and Afghanistan. Victims included both locals and foreigners, the report added.

It is suspected that they were involved in financial fraud, illegal betting and various activities of gambling.

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Published 28 June 2024, 08:42 IST

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