CBI alleges cyber criminals posed as Europol officers to cheat foreigners, Delhi court denies bail to accused

A Delhi court Monday denied bail to a man accused of being part of a cybercrime syndicate posing as Europol officers and cheating foreign nationals. The court observed that the allegations against the accused, identified as Vijay, were grave and serious.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Deepak Kumar said: “Admitting the accused/applicant on bail may hamper the investigation and the possibility of him influencing/threatening the witnesses cannot be ruled out.”

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) alleged that the accused persons, along with other unknown suspects, were involved in large-scale cyber cheating and extortion of foreign nationals by impersonating Europol or Federal Police officers. They used to tell the victims that their identities were stolen and used to commit crimes related to money laundering and drug peddling.

The agency told the court that the accused persons “used to intimidate and threaten victims of their probable arrest, launching of criminal case against them or a heavy penalty or fine along with freezing or seizure of their bank accounts and properties”.

“By using this modus operandi accused persons used to compel the victims to transfer their money in a given bank account/ crypto wallets/gift card codes or voucher codes so as to clear them from the coercive action and criminal proceedings,” the CBI prosecutor told the court.

“Accused/ applicant has crypto wallets in Coinbase, Zebpay, Binance in which Bitcoins were transferred by foreign nationals. A sum of Rs. Rs 30,92,702 and BTC 25.83 have been found parked in the crypto account of accused/applicant,” the prosecutor added.

The defence counsel argued that “there is no iota of evidence against the accused” and “the allegations against him are false, frivolous, baseless, concocted”.

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