Himansu Shekhar Rout

The Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Commissionerate Police has arrested a gang of four cyber fraudsters including a couple that used 46 mule accounts to dupe people on the Telegram app. 

Police said the gang was run by a couple identified as Trupti Rajan Patra and Banalata Sahu. Trupti Ranjan hailing from Jagannathprasad in Ganjam was staying with Banalata in the Airfield area of Bhubaneswar.

The couple along with the two others identified as Manas Ranjan Suna of Bolangir and Nihar Ranjan Paikaray of the Kantilo area was running the racket.

The gang allegedly fleeced people on the Telegram messaging platform by promising a 20 per cent return on investments. They tricked their victims into transferring money into mule accounts. 

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Police got a complaint from one Abdul Akbar Khan, a resident of Barimunda under Mancheswar Police Station a few days ago. In the complaint, Khan alleged that he was duped of Rs 11 lakh by a group of fraudsters. 

Based on the complaint, police started an investigation and arrested the four. Police seized 46 mule accounts and a cell phone from the main accused. 

A mule account is opened in the name of others. The account is used to receive and transfer funds acquired illegally on behalf of others.

Addressing the media, DCP Prateek Singh said, "A complaint about fraud was registered a few days ago. The complainant said that he got a Telegram link on February 17 to join a group. He was told to give a rating to the group and for that, he would be given some money. As the complainant gradually relied on the group, he was asked to invest money for high returns. In various phases, the fraudsters tricked him into investing Rs 11 lakh."

The complainant had transferred money from his four accounts to 16 accounts and further investigation into the matter is on, the DCP said.

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