2 conmen held in UP for 'digital arrest' of victims

Lucknow, May 23 (IANS): Two men posing as officers of CBI, NIA, and Customs, who had conned a retired Public Works Department official of Rs 30.5 lakh in a case of 'digital house arrest', have been arrested by Lucknow police's Cyber unit, the police said.

"The duo, identified as Rajeev Bhasin, 38, and his aide Mohit Chopra, 36, were arrested from Agra. Police also seized multiple bank chequebooks, SIM cards, phones, Aadhar, PAN, and other cards," said Deputy Commissioner of Police, Central, Raveena Tyagi.

According to the police, the men are linked to Cambodian nationals and have duped more than Rs 1.5 crore from innocent people across India, the details of which are being ascertained.

"Efforts are on to reach the foreign fraudsters as well," said Brijesh Kumar Yadav, Station House Officer, Cyber Crime police station.

It was found that "transactions worth Rs 1.68 crore had taken place in the account of the fraudsters from 39 incidents in the country," which include one each from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal, six from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, two each from Haryana, Maharashtra, Assam, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, and three each from Kerala and Karnataka," the police added.

After the February incident, the complainant Niranjan Singh, 73, an Indira Nagar resident of Lucknow, lodged an FIR at the Cyber Crime police station at Vibhuti Khand under Sections of the IT Act and IPC sections 420 (cheating) after which a manhunt was launched to nab the culprits.

Those arrested told the police that they used to open current accounts in the name of fake firms and send the account details to fraudsters sitting abroad on WhatsApp and Telegram.

'Digital arrest' does not exist in law, said the In-charge of Cyber Crime police station in Vibhuti Khand, Brijesh Kumar Yadav, who is also a cyber expert.

The victims are forced to stay visible over Skype or other video conferencing platforms until the demands of the fraudsters are met.



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Title: 2 conmen held in UP for 'digital arrest' of victims

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