Fake lottery racket run by Pakistanis unearthed

New Delhi: A fake lottery racket jointly run by Pakistanis and Indians, who are sending the ill-gotten money to Pakistan through hawala, has been unearthed here.

No one has been arrested though the Delhi Police`s Crime Branch have joined the dots about the racket following a probe into an input it received recently that some Pakistanis along with Indians were cheating people by luring them into deposit money on the pretext of realising money they won in lottery.

Last year, the Crime Branch had smashed several lottery rackets with the arrest of 15 people, including nine foreigners, most of them Nigerians. The fraudsters managed to cheat people of around Rs 1.76 crore last year.

The unearthing of the racket comes close on the heels of recovery of fake currency with a face value of Rs 2.24 crore from south-west Delhi`s Dabri on Thursday. Police believe that the fake notes were printed and sent from Pakistan.

The fraud lottery racket involves a handler in Pakistan, a Pakistani national illegally staying in Ludhiana, two businessmen in Amritsar, a tea stall owner in Noida and a man residing in Delhi`s Wazirpur besides others.

There were inputs that people in Delhi and other parts were receiving calls from Pakistan informing them that they have won lottery worth millions of rupees and were asked to deposit a certain amount in a particular bank account for getting the whole amount.

"People used to deposit money in the bank account from where it is siphoned off to Pakistan through hawala channels and by way of recharge of Dish TV coupons," a senior police official said today.

Investigators claim that two persons, one residing in Wazirpur in Delhi and another in Noida in UP, were being contacted from a phone in Pakistan.

The analysis of the call records of the Pakistani number showed that the man in Wazirabad was in touch with this number as well 17 other numbers while it also came to light that the tea stall owner was also being contacted.

Sources said the suspicion on the "small" tea stall owner came as he was seen frequenting branches of several banks in Noida.

Investigators also claim that some of the SIM cards used by the "cheats" in India were obtained on fake identities. The Pakistani national staying in Ludhiana is a prominent member of this racket.

Both the men in Noida and Wazirpur are in contact with the Pakistani national in Ludhiana, who is also linked with the two businessmen.

"The businessmen are the main instruments of illegal trafficking of money from India to Pakistan. Investigations have revealed that those involved in the fake lottery business have illegally amassed huge sum of money both in India and Pakistan," the official said.

A case of cheating and criminal conspiracy has been registered. "Generally in lottery frauds, the victims are told they had won mega lotteries where in no such lottery existed.

The fraud was mainly done through fake spoofed e-mails and by sending text messages," the official said.

In Kanpur, a retired BSF constable was apprehended January last year for allegedly being part of a fake lottery racket being operated from Pakistan whose victims included several air force personnel.

The personnel had then claimed that he fell victim to the fraud and later turned into an "agent" to dupe others.