Online ponzi-cum-betting racket: Lookout circular issued against Dubai-based operator

Bhubaneswar: A lookout circular (LOC) was issued against Md. Saif, an accused in the online football betting racket, which operated by cyber scammers from China and Dubai, police said on Thursday.

On the request of the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Odisha police, Bureau of Immigration has issued a LOC against Saif, who is a native of Bihar and was operating from Dubai, the police added.

LOC was issued to alert immigration checkposts at airports/seaports etc. to alert the law enforcement agency, if the wanted person tries to leave the country or arrive in the country from abroad.

EOW officials said the online betting company ( is suspected to have cheated thousands of people of more than Rs 1,000 crore in the country, including Odisha. As of now, the Odisha police has been able to trace out transactions worth Rs 300 crore.

The officials informed that, registered in Hong Kong, is a hybrid model of fraud where a ponzi scheme (multi-level marketing) is run online in the name of football betting/gaming app.

Earlier, two persons were arrested in this case, which was registered based on the complaints of nearly 800 duped investors of Odisha’s Ganjam district.

According to the modus operandi, investors were promised of giving lucrative benefits like three per cent daily compound return on investment, recharge bonus, referral bonus, extra bonus on the earnings of the downline members, salary bonus, daily withdrawal option etc.

The fraud company was also provided a foreign “mentor” to assist the investors in betting. These mentors used to communicate through Telegram or apps only and extra commission was offered for introducing new members in the app.

The scammers used multiple shell companies and their directors to route the ill-gotten money. They also used mule accounts for multi-layering of money transactions to confuse the law enforcement agencies.

The two accused persons were directors of a Kolkata-based shell company, Hakim & Rustam Fabrics Pvt. Ltd, who operated under the direction of the accused Saif from Dubai.

The EOW has announced a reward to the informer. The information can be given on the mobile No. 8249600495 and the name/details of the informer will be kept secret, the official said.


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