While probing a case of extortion, where a man was tricked into stripping on video call and then blackmailed, the Cybercrime Division of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Karnataka, has busted a ring in Haryana that was allegedly providing fake SIM cards and e-wallet accounts to various networks of cybercriminals.
In the specific case, the cybercrime ring had provided fake SIM cards to another network based in Rajasthan who used to call random people in the guise of women, make them strip on a video call and use the visuals to extort money.
Based on the information given by the CID, the Cybercrime Coordination Centre of the Ministry of Home Affairs conducted a detailed data analysis and arrested three people from Haryana. Police claim they are linked to 3,951 cases of cybercrime.
The arrested have been identified as Mohammed Mujahid, who worked as retailer for several telecom service providers, Asif, who works in his shop and Mohammed Iqbal, who ran a cybercafe in Haryana.
5,000 fake SIM cards activated
Asif used to procure photographs of people to get SIM cards. Mohammed Iqbal created fake Aadhaar cards on the computer under fictitious names. With these documents, Mujahid reportedly activated over 5,000 SIM cards.
“The accused persons exploited the vulnerabilities in the mobile service provider application as well as in the e-wallet application to activate SIM cards linked to e-wallet accounts,” said the CID in a press statement.
It added, “Based on the names found on e-wallet applications, Mujahid searched a list of PAN numbers issued on the said name through various applications, and by using one of the PAN numbers, activate the e-wallet accounts previously linked with the mobile number,” the statement said.
This gang used to sell SIM cards and linked e-wallet accounts so activated to cybercriminals based in Rajasthan for money, who in turn used them to commit offences including extortion. The CID said they had leads on the accused in Rajasthan and efforts were underway to nab them.