15 “phishers’ targeting US citizens busted in raid on Lonavla villa
PUNE The local crime branch of the Pune rural police busted a gang of 15 men who, inspired by the web series “Jamtara”, started an operation to dupe American citizens using phishing attacks.
The 15 men were found in a villa in Indrayani Society, Waksai, Lonavla, in a late-night raid on Wednesday.
The men had rented the property for ₹40,000 per month and had been duping American citizens using voicemails since the beginning of the first lockdown in the country, according to the police.
The 15 people were identified as Abhinav Deepal Kumar; Babu Raju Singh; Abhishek Sanjay Singh; Mohammad Zama Akhtarhusain Mirzi; and Shantanu Sham Chhari, all residents of Mira road in Thane; Nilesh Yelji Patel; Shahid Shoeb Shaikh; Imtekhab Nijamuddin Sheikh; and Shailesh Sanjay Upadhyay, all residents of Malad, Mumbai; Ninad Nandlal Devlekar, a resident of Badlapur East in Thane; Rakesh Arun Jha, a resident of Mansarovar in Navi Mumbai; Deep Prince Chakravarty a resident of Nalasopara West in Thane; Vinod Subhashchandra Ray, a resident of Virar West, Thane; Gaurav Devendra Varma, a resident of Vikroli in Mumbai; and Vinayak Dhanraj Uchedar, a resident of Kandivali East, Mumbai, according to the police.
“They are all Class 12 failures. They changed passwords and deleted some files when they realised that a raid was underway. We have no way of knowing exactly how many people they must have duped,” said senior inspector Padmakar Ghanwat of Pune rural police.
The owner of the house was identified as Kaushal Jagdish Rajpurohit, who lives in a separate location in Lonavla.
“The house owner was not in the house when we found these people. There were plants of ganja on the plot that he owns. So NDPS sections have been invoked,” said PI Ghanwat.
A case under Sections 419 of Indian Penal COde, Section 66(c), 66, and 75 of the Information Technology Act, along with Section 8(c), 20(b)(ii), 20(a) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act has been registered at Lonavla rural police station on Thursday.