A Chinese national fled to China after Indian authorities learned of a football betting app scam that swindled hundreds of millions of dollars out of over a thousand users.
Uncovering the scam: India’s Central Investigation Department (CID) established a Special Investigation Team (SIT) after learning about the scam that targeted people aged 17 to 75 in the Indian states of Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh in June 2022.
How they pulled it off: Officials explained that a group of scammers launched a football betting app called “Dani Data,” which operated for nine days before suddenly going offline. The users lost all of their investments despite the app promising “substantial returns.”
Unmasking the mastermind: CID’s SIT discovered that the mastermind behind the scam was a Chinese national named Woo Uyanbe from Shenzhen, China. He reportedly began his operation in Patan, a municipality in Gujarat, and Banaskantha, another municipality in the state.
The scammer purportedly lured some locals into helping him create the sports betting scam on the promise of wealth and launched the app in May 2022.
The financial damage he caused: According to authorities, the man, whose Chinese name is Wu Yanbo, took off with $168 million from 1,200 users.
Arrested individuals: Even though Wu managed to evade authorities, officials said they have already apprehended nine people connected to the scam, some of whom purportedly helped the mastermind transfer money through underground channels via overseas shell companies, one official told Voice of Asia.
Those arrested include Manojkumar Patel, Vrushab Makwana and Vijaykumar Jadan Ram, who were partners at TK Color Pvt. Ltd, a New Delhi-based company in which Wu was a director.
The crime continues: Indian authorities discovered that Wu is still operating in Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Singapore.
What they are doing: Although they still lack sufficient evidence to file for an extradition for Wu, Indian police are reportedly planning to approach Interpol to help with the process.