Jharkhand police propose, State police dither

In July 2017, the State’s cyber crime sleuths busted a phishing scam that they traced to Bokaro and Jamtara districts in Jharkhand.

But they did not know that the four accused, who are engineering dropouts, were operating a multi-crore racket sitting out in the open with their laptops and SIM cards obtained using fake ID cards.

During the course of their investigation, the police recovered 16,000 bank accounts, 15 cellphones, 460 SIM cards and four laptops from them.

Over the past few years, Jamtara has gained notoriety as India’s cybercrime hub, and is making its presence felt in Karnataka.

A majority of the 10,000 online fraud cases, registered in the 36 cybercrime police stations across the State, have been linked to Jamtara district, said senior police officials.

The Jharkhand police have launched an online portal and are seeking the State police’s help to coordinate efforts.

On December 28, 2018, D.K. Pandey, Director-General of Police, Jharkhand, issued a circular stating that cooperation on the online portal would not only help take up cases on priority, but would also help build a database.

In the circular, he said that online frauds are committed using UPI ( Unified Payment Interface), a single-window mobile payment system from Jamtara, and sought help from the State police to crack down such cybercrimes.

Taking this forward, Neelmani N. Raju, Director General and Inspector General of Police, has directed officials to make use of the service to get the required assistance from Jharkhand police.

However, to date, no State policeperson has registered any Jamtara-related case on the portal. “The present system is working fine. We are investigating them with the help of our Jharkhand counterparts on a case-to-case basis,” said a senior official, on the condition of anonymity.

He went on to add that sharing information online will not serve any purpose until the local police identify the accused.

“Jamtara is emerging as the hub of cybercrime activities, with over 60% of the fraud cases reported from Karnataka being committed from this region. Tracking the accused needs to be done carefully. Once the identity of the accused is established, the information is shared with the jurisdictional police to make a formal arrest. The local police are very cooperative and sharing information has been seamless so far,” the official added.

M.A. Saleem, Additional Director General of Police (Crime and technical services), said that they were happy to help their counterparts in Jharkhand. “As far as cybercrime investigation is concerned, the State police is far ahead in terms of expertise, and their coordination with the police of other States is also good,” he said.

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Printable version | Jun 26, 2022 11:45:55 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/jharkhand-police-propose-state-police-dither/article26045208.ece