The Visakhapatnam City Police busted an online betting racket and arrested nine persons in the city on Wednesday.
The kingpin of the racket was identified as K Kishore (26), hailing from Bhilai, Chhattisgarh. He had set up base in the city and had hired a posse of eight persons.
Visakhapatnam Commissioner of Police Ch Srikanth told , “Kishore paid Rs 10 lakh as a deposit to a bookie, identified as Rahul based in Chhattisgarh, and acquired ‘hosting services’ to run the online betting racket. As per their agreement, Kishore would keep 10 per cent of the profits and the remaining would go to Rahul.”
He said that the accused is considered a Level-1 bookie.
“Kishore reports to Rahul. So far, several bank accounts being operated by the accused have been identified. These accounts have been opened at banks in various places such as Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Maharashtra. It has been ascertained that transactions totalling Rs 377 crore have been done through these bank accounts in the last six months,” the Commissioner informed.
The Commissioner further said that there are over 800 people who were involved in online betting through Kishore in the last few months adding that transactions worth several crores have been conducted by the accused.
“There is a social media group run by the main bookie which has around 87,500 members across India,” he said.
The city police have frozen 10 bank accounts having deposits of Rs 72 lakh
The Three Town Police have registered cases under relevant sections.
Srikanth said that Bank employees also helped the accused to open accounts in the name of genuine firms
“A bank staffer has admitted that these accounts were created by using the fake address under the names of genuine firms. Later, he handed over the bank credentials to the accused. The police are further investigating the role of the bank staff,” he said
Srikanth also said that Kishore was found using two bank accounts opened under the names of two firms at a private bank in Gajuwaka.
“The two accounts were opened in connivance with a bank employee by tinkering with basic details such as address proof, without the knowledge of the original account holders. Business worth around Rs 4 crore was done through these accounts. On verification, it was found that the owners of the firm had no idea about the existence of these accounts,” he said.
Srikanth said that the bookies reach out to their target audience through posts and ads on various social media sites.
“Once an interested person makes contact, they are asked to pay a fee to receive login credentials for an app, through which bets can be placed. The app is designed in such a way that it would allow the customer to win initially in small amounts to get them hooked. Gradually, they will start betting bigger amounts of money, which they will start losing,” Srikanth added. (ANI)