Punjab Police said on Wednesday they uncovered a racketeering scheme backed by mobster Lawrence Bishnoi with the arrest of three agents who used to run an online gambling platform to lure victims.
Director General of Police (DGP) Punjab Gaurav Yadav said the Mohali State Special Forces launched a coordinated action on the case, which resulted in the arrest of Rohit Bharadwaj from Zirakpur, as well as Mohit Bharadwaj and Arjun Thakur, both Chandigarh residents.
The accused persuaded victims to join online gambling platform Diamond Exchange by promising them big wins for a small betting fee, the state police chief said.
“Initially victims would win some rewards but then start losing money. The accused would then offer them several hundred rupees as a loan to continue betting on the platform,” he said.
As soon as the victims took out the loan, the accused demanded high interest rates, sometimes amounting to several million euros. When the victims refused to pay back the money, the defendants made threatening phone calls through their gangster friends in prison and abroad, the DGP said in a statement.
During the investigation, police checked various payment gateways and the bank accounts to which the money was transferred, he said, adding that a procedure to block the bank accounts had been launched.
Investigations to identify the owner of the fraudulent website are ongoing, DGP Yadav said.
Deputy Inspector General Ashwani Kapur said the arrested defendants worked from a rented apartment in SAS Nagar. The suspects are believed to have been instrumental in conducting the extortion activities on behalf of the Lawrence Bishnoi gang, he said.
According to police, 14.78 lakh rupees were seized from Rohit Bhardwaj. Mobile phones and incriminating evidence were also confiscated from the accused, it said.
(Except for the headline, this article was not edited by NDTV staff and is published via a syndicated feed.)
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