4 held for duping people through ‘digital arrest’ in Prayagraj - Hindustan Times

4 held for duping people through ‘digital arrest’ in Prayagraj

By, Prayagraj
May 09, 2024 09:50 AM IST

Scammers pretending to be police officers, CBI or customs officials call people and after scaring them in a fake case, proceed to empty their bank accounts.

HT Correspondent

4 held for duping people through ‘digital arrest’ in Prayagraj (HT photo)
4 held for duping people through ‘digital arrest’ in Prayagraj (HT photo)


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Cyber police station cops, on Wednesday, arrested four members of a gang involved in extorting money by forcing bank customers in ‘digital house arrest’ by posing as police officials. The kingpin of the gang operates from Thailand and Bangkok, police said.

‘Digital House Arrest’ is a new term coined to describe a situation where cyber criminals pretending to be police officers, CBI or customs officials scare people and keep them hostage at home before proceedings to empty the their bank accounts.

Subsequent investigations led to arrest of four members of the gang from different cities of U.P. and Delhi on Wednesday. The accused were identified as Nitlesh Kumar, 22, of Shahjahanpur, Rajesh Kumar Mandal, 51, of Noida, Rama aka Chetan Kumar 42 and Nishant Roy of New Delhi. Nishant’s father and kingpin of the gang Dev Roy aka Rana Roy who operates from Bangkok has fled to Nepal, police said.

The arrests happened after an FIR of ‘digital house arrest’ was registered under IT Act and other relevant sections of IPC at the Cyber Police Station on April 26. This FIR was registered by a woman Kakoli Dasgupta from Prayagraj who said she had been duped of 1.48 crores.

Kakoli told the cops that on April 23, an unidentified caller rang her up and introduced himself as staff of an International Courier Company. Kakoli said the caller informed her about a parcel she had sent to Taiwan and in which 200 grams of drugs, 5 laptops and 3 credit cards had been found.

Subsequently, Kakoli was told that the case had been transferred to the Mumbai Crime Branch. After this, Kakoli said she received a video call in which a man in police uniform introduced himself as DCP Crime Branch. He subsequently threatened her and checked all her bank accounts over three days during which Kakoli was under ‘digital arrest’ and confined to her room. She said that she was ultimately forced to transfer 1.48 crore in different bank accounts in lieu of her name being cleared from the ‘drug’ case.

Later, upon realising that she had been duped, Kakoli approached the police and got the FIR registered after which arrests were made.

Inspector Tiwari said that the gang operates through agents who take access to bank accounts from people on the pretext of providing them commission. The kingpin of the gang then uses these bank accounts of gullible to transfer cash to an account and from which this cash withdrawn by their agents in return for a 2% commission. “The cash is then converted into crypto currency and bitcoin and turned into white money,” police said.

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