‘Online fraudster running Rs3bn Ponzi scheme’ held
KARACHI: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Friday claimed to have arrested a suspect for committing “online electronic fraud” amounting to Rs3 billion, said additional director of the cybercrime circle of FIA Mohammed Younis.
“The FIA arrested suspect Ghulam Sarwar in Gulshan-i-Iqbal,” added the officer.
He was supposed to leave for Saudi Arabia on Friday morning. He was the main suspect of the fraud case and there were over 17,000 people affected by him in the country. The held suspect along with other accomplices ran a website which claimed to be based in Italy. Officials said the conmen received Rs30,000 to Rs50 million from each person affected by him on the pretext of providing “interest on dollars”. Over 17,000 people said to be affected by scam
Additional director cybercrime circle Mohammed Younis pointed out that the held suspect along with others was involved in illegal activities of running a Ponzi scheme titled Multi Level Marketing by using a website domain of Chtimez.co (channel times) for which they had opened several binary accounts for collection of money from people with promise of providing handsome profit at the rate of 1.5 per cent in US dollars in electronic currency (e-currency) on daily basis. The suspects in this way cheated and collected Rs3bn from thousands of people through fraudulent manner.
During initial probe, it transpired that this gang of online fraudsters was also found buying and selling digital/e-currency namely ‘Perfect Money’, ‘One Life’ and ‘One Coin’ which was prohibited by the State Bank of Pakistan.
Dollars taken from the people were also in the shape of e-currency. The FIA has registered a case under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016 and sections 420, 109 and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code.