The Mumbai Police has arrested a software engineer- turned cloth merchant from Surat, Gujrat, for allegedly duping 22000 people through his shopping website; most of these people are women.
The 32-year-old accused is named Ashish Ahir, who completed his higher education in London, and turned to crimes after business losses.
Ahir used to sell high-end clothing at very reasonable prices. He made around 1 Cr by cheating thousands of people. Rashmi Karandikar, a Senior Officer in the Mumbai Cyber cell, said that he made the shopiiee.com website and targeted innocent customers.
He put high-end clothes on sale on the website; the website didn’t have a cash-on-delivery option forcing customers to prepaid the orders before receiving the products. He never shipped the products to the customers, though.
Karandikar revealed that customers who didn’t receive the merchandise didn’t approach the police because the amount involved in cheating was significantly less.
When a woman, who lost Rs.2400 to the racket, filed a complaint against the website, the matter came to light. The police took the case to investigate and arrest him under the IPC and Information Technology Act’s relevant sections. He has been taken to police custody, and Shopiiee.com was also taken down.
Karandikar said that Ahir ‘s factory suffered huge losses in the last few years, and lockdown did more adverse effects on his financial condition. To pay the huge debts he had, he made a plan to create his shopping site to sell clothes to cheat people.
With a rise in cyber-attacks and online fraud, police urged people to be more cautious when doing online shopping and transactions. 11 similar websites have been identified by the police and found fake as these sites have the same way of cheating.
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