Two people have been arrested on the charge of being involved in duping e-commerce company Amazon India of as much as Rs 52 lakh, by ordering expensive phones and then claiming refunds alleging that the firm had delivered an empty box, the police said on Tuesday.
Twenty-one-year-old Shivam Chopra and his accomplice Sachin Jain, 38, who used to provide SIM cards to the former for placing orders on the e-commerce portal have been arrested, they said.
Shivam – a graduate in hotel management who was unemployed – used to sell those mobile phones on other e-commerce websites and at Gaffar Market in Karol Bagh, the police said.
A complaint was received in June from a man on behalf of Amazon Seller Services Private Limited that 166 orders for mobile phones were placed between April and May, which were paid through gift cards but refunds were claimed alleging that the boxes were empty.
The amount was refunded to him in the form of gift cards, the police said.
During an internal inquiry by the company, it was found that the accused used 141 phone numbers and 48 customer accounts to place these orders and a refund was sought against each of those, they said.
He would give a false addresses in the locality where he actually resided and the delivery associate would usually call him over phone for directions, the police said.
The accused would ask the delivery person to meet him at a shop or any other place in the locality and take the delivery. He would then call up the customer care of Amazon India and allege that the box was empty. Subsequently, the refunds were initiated.
Following an inquiry into the matter, the police registered a case in August.
On the basis of the mobile numbers used to make calls, questioning of locals and with the help of Amazon delivery persons, Shivam, a resident of Tri Nagar in Ganesh Pura, Delhi, was identified. He was arrested on 6 October, the police said.
On Shivam’s modus operandi, an investigator was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying:
He operated under the fake name of Shubham. It sounded similar to his original name, Shivam. He did not find it necessary to use a new name each time.
Deputy commissioner of police Milind Dumbere said that during interrogation, Shivam revealed that for placing the orders, he purchased around 150 pre-activated SIM cards from Sachin, who runs a store in the neighbourhood.
During investigation, police seized 19 mobile phones, Rs 12 lakh in cash and 40 bank passbooks and cheques from Shivam's house.
In a statement, an Amazon India spokesperson said, "We continue to work closely with the Delhi Police and thank them for all their efforts in the investigation."
(With inputs from PTI)
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