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Goa is currently one of only two states in India that legally permit casino operations. While five-star properties in the coastal state are allowed to operate casinos on their premises, it is the offshore casinos that dominate the state’s casino industry. Apart from playing host to most of the poker action in the country, these casinos operating from floating ships moored on River Mandovi are the gateway to gambling for regular casino visitors from around the country and abroad.
The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Goa Police has recently made a shocking disclosure that has brought the casinos back in the spotlight. The police claimed to have cracked down a Ponzi scheme that falsely promised high returns on investing money for gambling in Goa’s casinos.
The police have also arrested the four prime suspects in the case namely, Dasarath Boora, Adi Ganesh, Fakruddin, and Sandeep. According to the EoW team, Boora was the mastermind of the scheme while Ganesh was the official head of the company. Fakruddin was the agent, while Sandeep was acting as the Information Technology expert of the gang. The four allegedly duped at least 400 people by falsely promising high returns and prizes in return for using their money for gambling.
According to a Hindustan Times report, the Superintendent of Police Shobit Saksena informed that the four have confessed to operating a Ponzi scheme under the guise of running an online gateway to casinos in Goa. They were working through the website dream2casino.com.
“On interrogation of the accused persons it was established that although they had fashioned their scheme as a scheme for investment in casino games, it was actually a money-circulating, multi-level marketing and Ponzi scheme where they were just transferring parts of funds received as investments from new customers to their old ones,” Saksena said.
Most of the arrested are reportedly from the Suryapet and Nalgonda districts in Telangana and Hosur in Tamil Nadu and have prior experience in real estate. Interrogation has revealed that they have earlier worked as agents in other Ponzi schemes in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
“As per their plan, they were going to make investments for up to three months by when they had estimated they would have made up to Rs.5 crores and then would have simply shut shop and absconded. They had over 400 customers across seven states, including Goa, who had invested over Rs 1 crore in less than a month. Since the scheme was less than a month old, a major loss of hard-earned money of the people was prevented.”
Saksena also revealed that the arrested would promise prizes like free casino entry, hotel stay, iPhones, and motorcycles, etc., to existing investors in case they got them new customers.
Police are currently making a further inquiry to unveil the links of these arrested men and uncover their agents in other parts of the country.