Bengaluru, Jun 10: COVID-19 induced lockdown measures will continue in 11 districts of Karnataka which have a high positivity rate till June 21, while some relaxations will be given in the rest of the state from June 14, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said on Thursday.

He also said that the COVID curfew will be imposed from 7 PM to 5 AM and weekend curfew will be imposed from 7 PM on Friday to 5 AM on Monday, after the current lockdown in the state comes to end on June 14.

"Current restrictions will continue in all eleven districts with high positivity rate till 6am on June 21, in the rest of the districts some of the restrictions have been relaxed. However, concerned Deputy Commissioners and District in-charge Ministers can take a call to impose more restrictions in their districts," Yediyurappa said.

Speaking to reporters after meeting with senior Ministers and officials, he said the decision has been taken based on suggestions made by the COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee, consisting of experts.

"In districts with high positivity rate- Chikkamagaluru, Shivamogga, Davangere, Mysuru, Chamarajanagara, Hassan, Dakshina Kannada, Bengaluru Rural, Mandya, Belagavi and in Kodagu- there will be no changes in the current guidelines," he added.

The relaxation in lockdown measures will be in place from 6 AM on June 14 to 6 AM on June 21.

Noting that restrictions are being relaxed in the rest of the state other than 11 districts, the Chief Minister said, all industries have been permitted to operate with 50 per cent staff strength, but garment industries can operate with 30 per cent staff strength.

Shops selling essential goods have been permitted to operate till 2 PM by extending their duration from 10 AM earlier; also all construction activities will be permitted, and shops needed for construction activities like cement, steel among others have also been allowed to open, he said.

Parks will be opened from 5 AM to 10 AM for walkers, street vendors can do their business from 6 AM to 2 PM, and auto and taxis are allowed to ply with maximum two passengers, he added.

If the situation comes under control as per the expectations it will help the government to announce further relaxations, Yediyurappa said as he sought the cooperation of everyone in this regard.

Responding to a question on public transport buses and functioning of government officers, he said for now buses are not permitted to operate, while important departments of the government can operate with 50 per cent staff.

Hotels and restaurants will continue to do parcel service and bars will be open for takeaways till 2 PM.

The Karnataka government had initially announced 14 days 'close-down' from April 27, but subsequently imposed a complete lockdown from May 10 to May 24, as the COVID cases continued to spike.

Citing lockdown yielding results and experts' advice, it was further extended till June 7 and then again till June 14.

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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."