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Visakhapatnam Police Bust Cybercrime Ring, Arrest 3 for Trafficking Youths

Visakhapatnam Police

Visakhapatnam: The Visakhapatnam police announced on Saturday that they had dismantled a cybercrime ring and apprehended three consultancy agents involved in deceiving unemployed youths and sending them to Chinese-operated cybercrime networks in countries like Cambodia, Myanmar, and Thailand.

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Despite increasing awareness of cybercrime, the number of incidents continues to climb, with many still falling victim to sophisticated scams. To address this, the Visakhapatnam police initiated a crackdown on such illegal activities, as stated in an official release.

This operation led to the arrest of several consultancy agents in the Gajuwaka area, including the prime suspect, Chukka Rajesh (33).

The illegal scheme was exposed when Botcha Sankar, a former Navy employee, lodged a complaint via the 1930 cybercrimes helpline, based on the account of an escaped victim.

Following the complaint, the police apprehended Chukka Rajesh and his associates, Sabbavarapu Kondala Rao and Mannena Gnaneshwar Rao, also from Gajuwaka. The investigation revealed an extensive network of agents, including individuals named Santosh, Arya, Umamahesh, and Habib, who facilitated the trafficking.

Visakhapatnam Commissioner of Police, Ravi Shankar Ayyanar, informed ANI that there might be over 5,000 victims from various regions of Andhra Pradesh, including Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam, Anakapalli, Palasa, Rajamundry, Tuni, Amalapuram, and Anantapur, as well as from Kolkata.

He mentioned that the details of the investigation are being shared with the Indian Embassy in Cambodia and urged the victims’ parents to contact both them and the Indian Embassy.

The arrested agents face charges of human trafficking, extortion, wrongful confinement, and criminal conspiracy.

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Ravi Shankar further explained that Indian agents in Cambodia contacted local agents to recruit individuals for cybercrimes, misleading them with promises of data entry jobs. The local agents collected ₹1.50 lakh from each job seeker, sending ₹80,000 to the Cambodian agents for passports, visas, and other arrangements, while keeping the rest as their commission.

Upon arrival in Cambodia, the youths were imprisoned and forced to work in the cybercrime network, deprived of food and pay until they complied. They were trained before being deployed to commit various online frauds, stealing money from innocent people.

“The offenses included courier scams, cryptocurrency scams, task games, and OTP frauds,” Ravi Shankar said.

“Those who complied were paid a salary of $600, along with incentives and promotions. The victims were compelled to work for at least one year,” he added.

The police corroborated the facts through video calls with the victims, who shared their ordeals. Once the victims agreed, they were sent to countries like Cambodia, Myanmar, and Thailand, where they worked for Chinese companies. These companies provided training for 7-10 days before forcing the victims into cybercrime roles with a monthly salary of $600. Any resistance was met with severe punishment, including torture and deprivation of food and water.

Officials estimated that approximately 5,000 people from Andhra Pradesh had fallen victim to this scam over the past two years.

The victims initially traveled to Cambodia on tourist visas, which were later converted into business visas upon joining the Chinese companies.

The police continue to investigate the case.

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