Ex-army man arrested for cheating

The sum involved is ₹3.5 crore

The Central Crime Branch (CCB) police on Saturday arrested a 51-year-old former army man for allegedly cheating hundreds of people in a scam in which they were paid to click on ad links. The accused, Johnny K.V., promised huge returns but cheated clients of ₹3.5 crore since December 2020.

“Claiming to be an active member of a U.K.-based lifestyle company, he lured people on social media. He held meetings with them on WhatsApp and Zoom offering minimum investment and huge returns through various schemes,” said the police.

First time investors had to pay ₹1,109 for a basic membership, following which 60 advertisement clips would be sent to their various social media accounts. They would get ₹4 to watch each ad, thereby ‘earning’ a minimum of ₹240 per day.

After making a few payments, the accused would try to convince clients to ‘upgrade’ to a premier membership and enrol more people for which they would earn a commission. Hundreds of people had invested in the scheme since December. After some time, he would stop paying them.

“The accused was aiming to get 30 lakh people into the fold before fleeing to another city,” a senior police officer said . However, before he could wind up his business, he was arrested.

Johnny hails from Ernakulam, Kerala, but resided in Basaveshwara Nagar where he also had his office. He served as a soldier in the Indian Army and retired as naik. He started his ‘investment’ business in December last year.

“He has been taken into custody for further investigation,” said Sandeep Patil, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime).

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