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Indian Authorities Ramp Up Probe into Offshore Online Gaming Fraud Worth $600 Million

Indian authorities have intensified their scrutiny of online gaming companies and websites incorporated in offshore jurisdictions such as Curacao, Malta, and Cyprus following the apprehension of a Delhi man implicated in a sprawling cyber fraud case amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars. The Enforcement Directorate of the country has honed in on numerous entities allegedly involved in a criminal syndicate that duped investors across various regions of India, depriving them of substantial sums.

Indian Authorities Ramp Up Probe into Offshore Online Gaming Fraud Worth $600 Million

Reports indicate that the Enforcement Directorate has initiated a money-laundering investigation spurred by complaints from areas including Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, where victims fell prey to online schemes and gaming scams. Of particular note is a case wherein servers stationed in the United Arab Emirates were utilized, alongside a parallel infrastructure within India, to orchestrate fraudulent activities.

Earlier this year, law enforcement operations yielded a significant haul, including gold bars, ash, jewelry, luxury vehicles, and watches believed to be proceeds from the illicit operation. Authorities suspect that shell companies were utilized to funnel funds overseas, contributing to the complexity of the investigation.

Cyprus Gaming License

Victims were enticed with promises of lucrative investment returns, part-time job opportunities, and online shopping perks, mirroring the modus operandi of the notorious 'Macau scam'. The syndicate, estimated to involve around 200 companies, allegedly engaged in the importation of high-value goods such as solar panels and rose oil from destinations like Dubai, Hong Kong, and China.

It is reported that the fraudulent scheme operated between 2020 and the present year, with ill-gotten gains totaling nearly Rs4,798 crore ($600.7 million) allegedly funneled abroad. The unfolding investigation underscores the challenges posed by transnational cybercrime and the imperative for enhanced cooperation among international law enforcement agencies in combating such nefarious activities.



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