The Indian Express | 1 month ago | 08-08-2022 | 12:35 am
Two men from Haryana were apprehended by the Ahmedabad Cyber Crime Cell for allegedly committing “time out” frauds against banks through automated teller machine (ATM) kiosks in Ahmedabad. According to police, Rahul Khan (21) and Mohammad Akhil Iliyas (30), from Mewat in Haryana, were held from Relief Road area of old city Ahmedabad with 39 debit cards, which they were using to commit frauds through ATMs.A senior officer of Ahmedabad Cyber Crime Cell said, “On Saturday, the duo visited Central Bank ATM near Lal Darwaza and carried out 14 transactions using 14 different debit cards to withdraw Rs 1.4 lakh. The accused had legitimate bank cards under their names… At the ATM kiosk, they would enter the PIN number to withdraw cash and keep their hands at the vault… As the cash is about to be dispensed, they would grab the cash midway and hold it till the ATM ‘times out’ and the transaction is cancelled.”The officer added that as per ATM mechanism, once cash is dispensed, it cannot go back to the machine. “The accused would take that cash but a bank entry would be made about withdrawal from their accounts… they would contact the bank and complain about the deduction when no cash was dispensed. The bank would refund the money into their account within seven days after checking the ‘time out’ entry… This way, the accused carried out fraud against several banks,” the officer said.Taking cognisance, police booked the two under IPC 420 for fraud, 406 for criminal breach of trust.
AHMEDABAD: The city crime branch probing the case of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) operatives, in which a man from Panch Patti locality in Kalupur was held, will investigate the honeytrap angle. Cops said that Indian phone numbers were used to lure some army jawans and obtain crucial information from them. Sources in the city crime branch said that, between 2017 and 2019, Panch Patti resident Abdul Wahab Pathan gave 15 Indian sim cards to an officer of the Pakistan high commission, Shafaqat Jatoi, in exchange for Pakistani visas and money. Pathan was held by the crime branch on Monday night. Using the Indian phone numbers, ISI agents would make WhatsApp calls to armed forces personnel and pose as officers of the Indian army. They would then make them enter crucial details on websites mimicking those of the Indian government such as the websites of the Kendriya Sainik Board and the Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare. On these 'phishing' websites, once a serviceman entered their details, the operatives would procure all their personal data. They would also bug the servicemen's devices and use them for spying, sources said. "Further probe revealed that these websites were created in the second week of September. Before that, the ISI operatives honey-trapped various armed forces personnel and got crucial information of various army units and locations, and details of army personnel," said an officer. Pathan retired from an electronics appliances company on Ashram Road in 2010 after working there for 30 years. He met Jatoi in 2017 when he went to the Pakistan high commission in Delhi to get a visa to visit Karachi. With Pathan's help, Jatoi managed to get 15 sim cards from residents of Ahmedabad, and these were allegedly used for anti-India activities. Jatoi left India in 2019-end. Sources further said that Pathan had last visited Pakistan in March 2019. "He had first gone to his father's native place in Chitral and then travelled to Peshawar. From Peshawar, he took a flight to Karachi and stayed at Hotel Paradise in the Defence Colony there," said a crime branch officer. The officer said that Pathan visited a madrassa in Karachi and stayed there for three days. "We suspect that he met some ISI operatives in Defence Colony and Clifton in Karachi," the officer said. City crime branch booked Pathan under IPC Section 123 (concealing with intent to facilitate design to wage war) and under provisions of the IT Act.
RAJKOT: A 65-year-old influential businessman of the city was profusely sweating despite the AC chill in the cyber crime police station recently. The fear of his ‘nude video’ getting leaked online had been haunting him for a few days. A victim of sextortion, the businessman approached police only after being persuaded by some influential people. The businessman could be one of the lesser high-profile targets, but the cyber crime police here have been getting at least 10 applications of sextortion daily for the last three months. Preliminary investigation revealed that the sextortionists are operating from remote villages of Mewat and Bharatpur districts in Haryana and Rajasthan which have emerged as the new phishing hubs after the infamous Jamtara. A senior official said that despite several campaigns to create awareness about such crimes by the police and other government agencies, educated and reputed people of the city are falling prey to such tempting calls and offers. Even as the latest victim claimed that the video was morphed, cyber experts assert that it was genuine and the person seen removing his clothes in the clip was him. Assistant commissioner of police (ACP), cyber crime, Vishal Rabari said, “One of the gang members, mostly a woman, first initiates a Whatsapp chat and gains trust of the target. Gradually, the talks become titillating and she lures him to get naked by promising to reciprocate. The video is immediately recorded by the gang using a special software and then the blackmailing starts.” In the majority of cases, victims fear societal shame and strike truce with the gang after paying the ransom with some negotiations. Police said the victims don’t wish to lodge an FIR but at the same time they urge cops to warn them in the strictest possible language. “The data of mobile phone users are sold illegally and such fraudsters purchase it. They identify the victim, mostly senior citizens who are not well-versed with operating smartphones. They also steal the data of the victim’s contacts,” Rabari explained. As the fraudsters use various VPN and VoIP networks, it’s hard to trace them.
Jewellery thefts are not uncommon and the incentive for the robbers almost always is quick money. But a recent one in Dadar was unique as besides the lure of easy money, the accused had another motive to commit the crime: The shop owner had denied him a discount while purchasing a ring.The theft in question took place on August 24 at the Dadar jewellery store. The complainant, Sonali Mutkekar, 46, who owns GB Pednekar Jewellery shop on RK Vaidya Road in Dadar West, had gone for lunch at her house between 2 pm and 4 pm.When she returned to her shop, she realised that someone had broken in and fled with jewellery, following which the police registered a first information report (FIR).Vinod Rambali Singh, 52, allegedly involved in several break-ins at jewellery shops across the country, along with his accomplice, kept working at the window grill of the jewellery shop for days before the break-in, said the police. He then stayed hidden on his building terrace for five days and even tried to get the stolen jewellery worth Rs 1.24 crore melted before the crime branch team nabbed him based on a footage where his accomplice was seen lurking around for two days before the crime.An officer said that the accused had done a proper study of the shop and found that while they kept all the jewellery in the locker at night, during the lunch break, the jewellery was lying in the display showcase. Crime branch (unit V) conducting a parallel probe in the matter studied the CCTV cameras in and around the shops for the past few weeks.“While going through the CCTV footage of the shop, we found two men there two days before the crime,” a crime branch officer said. The police, through their sources, identified one of the men as Vinod Rambali Singh, who had previous cases of jewellery looting registered against him.The police found that Singh resided in Virar and sent a team to nab him from where he was arrested. The police found that he had given the stolen jewellery to his accomplice who was on his way to Ahmedabad to get it melted. “We knew once the jewellery is melted it will be difficult to recover it. Immediately a team was sent to Ahmedabad and his accomplice, Paras Jagolia, was nabbed before the jewellery could be melted,” said Ghanshyam Nair, senior inspector, crime branch (unit V).During questioning, Singh told the police that a month back while he was looking for a shop to target, he landed in this shop. He liked a ring and wanted to purchase it but the owner refused to give him a discount of even Rs 2,000. “At that point, he decided he was going to target the shop even if it had fewer valuables than other shops. Also, since the staff consisted of women, they felt it would be easier,” the officer added.
AHMEDABAD: City crime branch on Monday held a 72-year-old man from the Panch Patti neighbourhood in Kalupur for his alleged links with operatives of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency and providing them crucial information about the Indian armed forces, officers said on Tuesday. Abdul Wahab Pathan allegedly gave 15 Indian mobile phone sim cards to an officer of the Pakistan high commission, Shafaqat Jatoi, in exchange for Pakistani visas and money, between 2017 and 2019, said an officer of city crime branch. "Pathan took activated sims from people in Ahmedabad on which he activated WhatsApp and sent OTPs to use WhatsApp on other devices to Jatoi and other operatives of ISI. Using these Indian numbers, ISI operatives called serving and former personnel of the Indian armed forces and took crucial details about the Indian military. Those targeted were mainly personnel due to retire in a few years," said a crime branch officer. The officer said Pathan also gave Jatoi sim cards through various visa applicants. The officer said ISI operatives would call armed forces personnel pretending to be Indian army officers and make them enter details on websites mimicking those of the Indian government such as the websites of the Kendriya Sainik Board and the department of ex-servicemen welfare. On these 'phishing' websites, once a serviceman entered their details, the operatives would get all their personal data. They would also bug the servicemen's devices and would use them for spying. According to crime branch officers, Pathan retired from an electronics appliances firm on Ashram Road in 2010 after working there for 30 years. He met Jatoi in 2017, when he went to the Pakistan high commission in Delhi to get a visa to visit Karachi. With Pathan's help, Jatoi managed to get 15 sims from residents of Ahmedabad which were allegedly used in anti-India activities. Jatoi left India at the end of 2019. Pathan's grandparents had shifted to India from the North West Frontier Province (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) in 1932 and the family stayed in the city even after partition, said joint commissioner of police, city crime branch, Premveer Singh. Singh said Pathan's family members still live in Pakistan and he went to Chitral in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to meet them in 2017. He said Pathan was not booked for any criminal activity before this case. Another crime branch officer said Pathan would get Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 for each activated sim card while the person who provided their sim card only got a visa to Pakistan so they could meet their family members.
The Ahmedabad Crime branch nabbed, Abdul Wahab Pathan (72), a Dariyapur resident for his role in aiding Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI.Pathan, who was a manager with a private company in Ahmedabad before retiring in 2010, used to procure pre-activated Indian SIM cards from his acquaintances and share them with his Pakistani operative, Shafqat Jatoi, a former officer of the Pakistani High Commission in India.After this, Pakistan’s intelligence agency created WhatsApp accounts and contacted the Indian defence staffers, who divulged sensitive information thinking that the calls and messages were from India.“The Pakistani officials had contacted about 40 retired and soon to retire Army officials and jawans. As far as we know, they were unable to get any concrete information from them,” Army Intelligence sources told Mirror.Police found that the ISI operatives had also created fake websites in the name of www.ksboard.in, www.desw.in and www.kavach-apps.in. These were used to mislead retired officers and jawans to extract information.The crime branch picked up Pathan on the basis of information shared by the Military Intelligence Unit (Southern Command Liaison) in Ahmedabad.Crime Branch JCP Prem Vir Singh said Pathan had visited Pakistan three or four times. Singh said those who were lured to give SIM cards are being investigated for their involvement, while Pathan is being interrogated for information on others who may have been in touch with the ISI.He had met Jatoi at the Pakistan High Commission. Soon, he began receiving small amounts like Rs 5,000, Rs 8,000 and Rs 10,000 through hawala. Jatoi stayed in touch with Pathan even after returning to Pakistan.