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Lookout circular issued against man for duping people via Dubai-based betting app

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Bhubaneswar: A Lookout Circular was issued against a person who was accused of duping around 800 people of crores of rupees through a betting app operated from Dubai.

The Bureau of Immigration (BoI) issued the Lookout Circular, used by authorities to restrict the movement of a travelling person who is wanted, at the request of the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Odisha police.

The agency on Thursday said it will reward anyone giving credible information leading to the arrest of the accused, identified as Md Saif who has several addresses in India.

The EOW has lodged an FIR based on the complaint of about 800 investors of Odisha’s Ganjam district who were allegedly duped by the accused.

They were lured into putting their money into 18football.com, a betting/gaming website and a mobile app, with a promise of a three per cent daily compound return on investment. Besides, they were told that they will get different types of bonuses, the EOW said.

They were asked to bet money on some football matches advised by the website/app. They were also provided with “mentors” to assist them in betting.

The 18football.com scam involved people across the state and the fraud amount involved is suspected to be more than Rs 1000 crore, out of which EOW has been able to trace transactions of approximately Rs 300 crore till now.

The operators of the app were engaged in social work and charity in rural areas to make people believe that it was a bonafide organisation.

“The fraudsters initially paid the promised return to the investors. When the membership increased, they stopped making any payment and closed the app. They used multiple shell companies to route the ill-gotten money,” the EOW said in a statement.

One such company was based in Kolkata and its two directors were arrested earlier.

“They had confessed to have got small amounts of commission to run the shell company and received orders from Md Saif from Dubai,” the statement added.

Anyone giving credible information on phone no 8249600495, leading to the arrest of the accused, will be suitably awarded, the agency said, adding that name and details of the informer will be kept secret.

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( With inputs from www.siasat.com )

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