In a major breakthrough, the Cyber Crime cell of the Punjab Police on Tuesday, arrested six hackers from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh for hacking the Facebook account of the Chief Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Punjab Suresh Kumar.
The arrested persons have been identified as Narendra Singh, Gulaab Singh, Bhaag Singh and Raman, all residents of Rajasthan while Dinesh and Rahul of Madhya Pradesh. One accused is still at large. The accused persons were also operating in the states including Punjab, Haryana and UP.
The police have recovered various ATM cards, cash, sims and a POS Machine were recovered from accused persons.
Divulging the details, Director-cum-ADGP Bureau of Investigation Arpit Shukla said that the accused persons had created a fake Facebook account on the name of Chief Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Punjab Suresh Nangia and defrauding people by asking for money pretending to be him.
He said that following information about hacking of the facebook account of the Chief Principal Secretary Suresh Kumar, DGP Punjab Dinkar Gupta immediately formed three teams led by Inspector Gurcharan Singh, Sub-Inspector Alamjit Singh Sidhu and Sub-Inspector Gaganpreet Singh under the supervision of Assistant Inspector General of Police, State Cyber Crime, Punjab Inderbir Singh and dispatched to UP, Rajasthan and MP. Entire operation was supervised by AIG State Cyber Crime Inderbir Singh and DSP State Cyber Crime Samarpal Singh. Sub Inspector Vikas Bhatia played an important role, he added.
Shukla said that the arrest of six cyber criminals would help in resolving similar cases related to Facebook hacking, OLX / Bank frauds and host of other cyber related crimes.
He said that investigations revealed that the accused Dinesh and Rahul from Madhya Pradesh, the nephews of Madan Lal who supplied the Identity proofs of Madan Lal to open a bank account in his (Madan Lal’s) name using his ID Proofs and usurp the fraudulently obtained money. The cyber criminals of MP, Haryana, UP, Delhi and Rajasthan are intrinsically linked with each other and operate across different states, he added.
Director BOI added that the accused moved in three different states of Haryana, UP and Rajasthan as their primary base is located at the tri-junction of these three states. Furthermore, this team located the whereabouts of the accused Narender Singh in whose account the ill-gotten money was deposited and arrested him from Bharatpur in Rajasthan.
“On further probe, another gang member Gulaab Singh was apprehended which led to the disclosure of a full scale racket being run in the area where ATM cards were rented out from various people or even under fake identities by procuring fake ID cards to open bank accounts,” Shukla said adding that then these bank accounts were used to siphon off the money from various scams including OLX scam, Facebook scam, sex scam and any type of illicit money is siphoned off using a channel of these accounts.
He said that the connivance of some bank employees in the entire racket can also not be ruled out.
He said that the further probing into the case led toarrest of Bhaag Singh and Raman Kumar, who were the kingpin in the money circulation of such rackets as they provide the ATM cards, sim cards and ID proof to the fraudsters, who hire their services for a 10% cut in the fraudulently obtained money withdrawn through his money siphoning channel.
Meanwhile, the case has been registered under sections 170, 419, 420, 506, 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and 66, 66-C, 66-D of the IT Act at Police Station State Cyber Crime.