Mumbai, May 13: The Shiv Sena on Thursday criticised the Centre for hike in fuel prices after the recent Assembly polls in some states, saying the "present day rulers" can go to any extent for elections.

An editorial in the Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' said the fuel prices, which were always on the upswing, were suddenly reduced during the period of elections in four states (Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu) and a Union Territory (Puducherry).

"But, the picture changed completely after the election results. The present day rulers can go to any extent for elections," the Marathi daily alleged.

It said petrol and diesel rates have touched record highs after state-run oil marketing companies hiked prices "five times in a row".

The results of elections were declared on May 2 and there has been a hike in fuel prices since May 4, it said.

"There are no elections in sight soon. May be, the government wants to fill its coffers which were drained out due to the reduction of fuel prices during the election period. What about pockets of the common man? They are empty," the Sena said.

It said unemployment and reduction of salaries have already hit the common man hard.

Earlier, during the Bihar Assembly elections, the fuel prices were stable and after the results, there was hike in prices 15 times in 18 days, it claimed.

During the Delhi Assembly polls, there was a "miracle" of fuel prices being stable, the Sena said sarcastically.

Three years ago, during the Karnataka Assembly polls, despite the international crude prices seeing a rise, the fuel prices in India were "stable", it added.

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Bengaluru, Jun 12: Karnataka police on Saturday said they have busted a Rs 290 crore plus scam that involved duping people through a mobile app after promising attractive interest on investment and two Chinese nationals were among the nine arrested.

The scam, aided by shell companies, is linked to money laundering and the suspected kingpin is a Kerala based business man with proximity to Chinese 'hawala' operators, they said.

Cyber Crime Division of CID said it has arrested accused persons, including two Chinese nationals, two Tibetans and five others acting as directors of the companies involved, and a search is on for the rest.

A complaint from Razor pay Software Private Limited said accused persons availed 'payment solutions' from them, claiming that they are in gaming, social and e-commerce businesses.

They, however, defrauded the company by using computer resources and by deviating from their original, registered line of business, the plaint said.

They started routing their transactions to collect payments from a different business named "Powerbank", an app listed in Google Playstore, cyber police said in a release.

Through customer complaints, the complainant company got to know that public invested money in the "Powerbank" app to earn interest on the invested amount.

The accused persons, after accepting the investments, neither gave the agreed interest nor the principal amount and cheated customers.

A case was registered under the Information Technology Act and 420 IPC (Cheating), the CCD said and added that the investigating team were successful in arresting nine men.

During investigation, it was found that Anas Ahmed, a Kerala based businessman, is the main person involved.

"We have also identified that he has very proximate connections with the Chinese hawala operators, which has come to light during the course of the investigation.

He had opened shell companies in the name of Bull Finch Technologies, H & S ventures and Clifford ventures to route the fraud money. Anas Ahamed is married to Chinese national and incidentally he did his studies in China," police said in the release.

Online applications hosted by him were later camouflaged and converted into different apps including Power Bank application, seeking investment from the public and promising good returns, the CCD said.

An unusual spike was seen in investments on the day Anees Ahmed announced much higher returns.

Subsequently, such apps were removed from Google Playstore and other websites and he absconded with the money.

Investigation showed Rs 290 crore inflow into his bank accounts and the CCD was successful in freezing a significant portion of it. There was a huge spike in opening of shell companies since November 2020.

"We have also observed that the Chinese handlers are in possession of a huge number of shell companies and bank accounts. Lured by the offer of the Chinese nationals, many innocent Indians and Tibetans have fallen in their trap to open shell companies and open bank accounts for them."