Officials probing a cybercrime case in Bengaluru have now uncovered nearly 4,000 identical instances across the country, arresting three people accused of sextortion and other forms of cybercrime.
The culprits have been identified as Mohammed Mujahid, Mohammed Ikbal, and Asif by cyber police from Karnataka’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID). On Friday, the team apprehended the suspects in various locations throughout Haryana.
“The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre conducted a detailed investigation based on the information given by the Ministry of Home Affairs and established ties of the arrested suspects to 3,951 cases across the country,” the CID stated.
In a video conversation, a 45-year-old man who had befriended a woman on Facebook shared some of his private moments. He received photographs of his private parts a few minutes later, and a man called him, threatening to make the images public if money was not paid. On August 22 of this year, the victim filed a complaint with the CID police station. Officials investigating the case at the time had no idea they were pursuing a group responsible for thousands of cybercrimes across the country.
Mujahid allegedly used false documents to get many SIM card agency retailer ships from a reputable mobile service provider in order to activate over 5,000 SIM cards linked to e-wallets of a reputable digital payment business, according to police.
Asif, a Mujahid sub-agent, provided images of many people to be used in the creation of fraudulent documents. He activated SIM cards on Mujahid’s behalf using the forged documents. According to the police, Ikbal owns and operates a photostat-cum-printing business. Based on the images provided by Asif, he manufactured phony Aadhaar cards and gave them to Mujahid. The accused took advantage of flaws in the mobile service provider’s application as well as the e-wallet application to activate SIM cards linked to e-wallet accounts since it allows them to see the name of the previous user of that phone number.
Mujahid searched for PAN numbers issued on the same names as those found on the e-wallet application. He authorized the e-wallet accounts previously linked to the mobile phone using one of those PAN numbers. The active SIM cards and e-wallet accounts were sold for a large price to cybercriminals in Rajasthan, who used them to perpetrate different crimes and extort money from victims.
The Indian Express