NIA chargesheet against 5 linked to human trafficking, cyber fraud syndicates; 2 held | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday chargesheeted five accused, including two foreign nationals, in a case relating to human trafficking and cyber fraud syndicates operating both within and outside the country.
While two chargesheeted accused, Jerry Jacob and Godfrey Alvares, are under arrest, remaining three – Sunny Gonsalves and foreign nationals Niu Niu and Elvis Du, are absconding.
As per NIA probe in the case – in which several foreign nationals are involved, as per the chargesheet – the accused were targeting Indian youth who were proficient in computers and English language, and coercing them into working in fraudulent call centres on tourist visa, for pecuniary gains. Victims were being recruited, transported and transferred from India to Golden Triangle SEZ in Lao PDR via Thailand. Upon arrival, they were trained in use of Facebook, Telegram, basics of cryptocurrency, and handling of apps created by the scam company.
The powerful syndicates also used victim control tactics in case any of the trafficked youth refused to continue with the online fraud work. These tactics included isolation and restriction of movement, confiscation of personal travel documents and physical abuse, arbitrary fines, threat to kill, threat to rape in case of women and threat to arraign in false case of drugs in local police station, etc.
The human trafficking and cyber fraud racket, an NIA spokesperson said, was being operated with audacity, with the accused even deleting data of victims’ mobile phones to destroy evidence. Victims faced threats if they approached the embassy concerned or any local authority. In some cases, victims were held in scam compounds, confined without food for three to seven days, and tortured if they refused to work. They were only released after extraction of extortion payments ranging from Rs 30,000 to Rs. 1,80,000, or intervention by the Embassy of India in Lao PDR on complaints made by the victims.
According to Indian Cyber Coordination Centre (I4C), southeast Asian countries like Lao PDR and Cambodia have of late emerged as the new hubs of financial cyber fraud reported in India, with 46% of defrauded money now lost to cybercrimes like investment scams, digital arrest scams, trading scams and dating scams originating from there.

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