China-linked cybercrime nabs $529m in India • The Register

According to the Uttar Pradesh state’s cybercrime unit, Chinese crooks stole $529 million from Indian residents using instant loan apps, part-time job lures and fake credit systems. cryptocurrency exchange.

Last April, the coppers busted a criminal network worth around $378 million, but that total did not include cryptocurrency-related fraud.

According to local media, the scammers promoted their fraud through mass TXT messages which police tracked to the Middle Kingdom, with some operators located in Nepal and working under the direction of Chinese threat actors. Fake crypto websites and apps have been created to lure investors.

“Instant loan apps, part-time job offers and now crypto trading fraud, are all operated by the same Chinese hackers. SMS aggregators are also involved,” said the police superintendent of Uttar Pradesh Cyber ​​Crime Triveni. Singh said, according to Press Trust Of India (PTI).

The criminals got away with funds by first transferring the victims’ money to local Indian bank accounts and digital wallets before moving the money to Indian cryptocurrency exchange Zebpay and a similar international platform Binance.

In April, Singh told PTI that the stolen money was eventually withdrawn to China.

Another China-linked app lending racket, operating out of Gurugram in the northern Indian state of Haryana, was busted last week. According to a local report, four Indian nationals extorted money in exchange for the false promise of small loans. The suspects also reportedly set up call centers to pursue the execution of their crimes and targeted those with low financial or digital literacy. All four are now in custody.

The suspects kept in touch with their foreign counterparts using the Chinese instant messaging app called “Husys”, India’s Commerce Ministry said.

Investigators allege the suspects were declared shareholders and directors of front companies set up in India on behalf of their Chinese counterparts, who were the real decision makers and operators.

The ministry said it had arrested an Indian resident at the heart of the scheme – called “Mr Dortse” – as he tried to flee India.

“Mr Dortse sits on the board of Jillian India Ltd and has clearly become the mastermind behind the whole racket of incorporating a large number of shell companies with Chinese connections in India and providing shell directors on their boards of directors. administration.” ®

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