Nagpur man loses Rs 58 crore, gets scammed by friend through online gaming | #whatsapp | #lovescams | #phonescams

New Delhi,UPDATED: Jul 23, 2023 13:22 IST

By Divyanshi Sharma: As more and more people bought smartphones, the trend of online gaming in India picked up. Everyone with a smartphone and an internet connection could play thousands of games, and some of them even enabled people to win money in real life. The trend of online gaming is soaring and in India, 421 million online gamers were recorded last year. This means two things- Indians love online games and that the gaming market is huge with immense potential.

However, online gaming has also given rise to various new types of scams and as more and more people hop on the gaming bandwagon, such cases increase. In a recent incident, a man from Nagpur was duped of Rs 58 crore by a friend through an online gaming platform. Incidents like these serve as a reminder that we must be careful while playing games online and be extra cautious while investing money in any game.

Nagpur man loses Rs 58 crore in online gaming

According to a PTI report, a Nagpur-based businessman lost Rs 58 crore when he tried to gamble online. After the victim filed a complaint, the police raided the suspect’s home and Rs 17 crore in cash was recovered along with 14 kg of gold. The suspect, as per the report, is a bookie named Sontu Navratan Jain. He reportedly created an online gaming platform that was used to dupe the victim. Reports also say that Jain was a friend of the victim and had been scamming him for the last two years. Jain reportedly fled to Dubai a day before police raided his residence.

“Jain apparently convinced the complainant — a businessman — to explore online gambling as a lucrative avenue of earning money. Initially hesitant, the businessman succumbed to Jain’s persuasion and transferred Rs 8 lakh through a hawala agent,” Nagpur police commissioner Amitesh Kumar told PTI.

After this, the victim was given a WhatsApp link to open an online gambling account. Upon opening the account, the businessman found that Rs 8 lakh had been deposited in it. Trusting it to be a legitimate account, the businessman started gambling online and even though he first won some money, he lost Rs 58 crore.

“After initial success, the businessman’s fortunes took a drastic downturn as he lost a whopping Rs 58 crore while winning only around Rs 5 crore,” the police commissioner said and added that the victim then grew suspicious and asked for his money back from the bookie but he refused to do so.

A complaint was then filed with the cyber police and the investigation began.

28 per cent GST on online gaming

Meanwhile, a 28 per cent GST might soon be levied on online gaming. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, earlier this week, had announced that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) council has given its nod to impose a 28 per cent tax on online gaming, horse racing and casinos. The GST council decided the same during the 50th GST Council meeting.

“There will be some amendment to the GST law to include online gaming in it. And simply put, online gaming, casinos and horse racing will be taxed. They will be taxed at 28 percent and they will be taxed on their full face value,” Sitharaman said in a press conference after the meeting.

When asked if the move will kill the online gaming industry, Sitharaman added, “There was a detailed discussion on this. Our agenda is not to kill an industry. All sorts of businesses have to be kept alive. Casinos in Goa and Sikkim yield a lot of revenue for the two small statesâ€æIt is not so much our position, every state felt it.”

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