UK loan fraud: Cops deciphering online hawala
Jan 13, 2013 (Hindustan Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Days after unearthing a multi-million pound internet loan scam and arresting three Delhi-based men for duping over 5,000 UK residents of millions of pounds, the Delhi Police are now looking for agents of 'Liberty Reserve' (LR), the online hawala system through which the ill-gotten money reached the accused.
Investigations into the scam by the special cell of Delhi Police have revealed that mastermind Yashin Nagpal, 28, Rajat Bhayana, 30, and Saurabh Gupta, 31, received money as 'processing fee' for clearing small unsecured loans by LR.
"Identifying and busting hawala rackets is a tough task due to several loose ends. In this case, since the whole money transferring business was done through the internet, it would take us some time to bust it. We are still at a nascent stage when it comes to understand the dealings through LR," said a senior Delhi Police officer.
A team of the special cell nabbed the three accused from their residences in north Delhi. The UK High Commission in India had alerted the Delhi Police about the fraud -- being touted as one of the biggest frauds ever carried out in the UK from overseas.
"We were informed by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), the UK's police agency, that the scam was being operated by Indians from Delhi. We immediately identified a call centre in Pitampura, Max Infotech, from where the fraud was being executed," said an investigating officer.
As many as 20 telecallers convinced potential clients in the UK to apply for unsecured loans.
Cops in the UK and Delhi are tracing Sedat Gunes, a Turkish national, and a UK citizen based in Hong Kong named Tonyman who assisted the accused.
"Gupta used to procure personal details of UK-based loans seekers, who were categorised as sub-prime (defaulter) clients in UK, from various internet websites," the officer said.
Once convinced, the client was asked to purchase online a UKash voucher, which had a 19-digit secret code, as part of the processing fee.
"Their foreign accomplices encashed Ukash codes in currency notes by using them in online betting. The accused used got their payment in cash using LR," he said.
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