Odisha economic offences wing arrests 3 cyber criminals

BHUBANESWAR : Three cyber criminals, including two from Rajasthan, were detained for allegedly cheating several people of Odisha.

Mahmud Khan, Munfed Khan, and Anil Khiller were arrested in Rajasthan and the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha, respectively, an official of the economic offences wing (EOW) of Odisha said.

In Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, and Assam, the accused and a select few others registered over 2000 mule accounts with Indian Post Payment Bank (IPPB) in the names of various innocent/rural residents.

They deceived a number of residents of Odisha's Nabarangpur district by giving the impression that the account holders would receive financial benefits through these accounts under various government programmes, but the EOW official claimed that these accounts were used for illegal money transactions without the knowledge of the account holders themselves.

Anil Khiller, a local suspect, allegedly used to provide SIM cards to Rajasthani con artists. At least 1200 SIM cards were obtained and sent to the con artists by him.

The EOW found during its investigation that some local youths, including Subir Benya, Upendra Samarth, Rajendra Harijan, Dhansingh Harijan, and Sansai Santa (Gramin Dak Sevak) of Nabarangpur, had formed a criminal alliance with some Rajasthani con artists to open hundreds of mule accounts with the IPPB using the Adhaar, PAN, and pictures of the unwitting villagers.

These accounts were being locked using several SIM cards that were supplied by Rajasthan-based criminals. As a result, he claimed, any transaction made through these accounts was disclosed to the fraudsters who were in charge of the phones using the provided SIM numbers.

The five local suspects were previously detained by the EOW. During questioning, they admitted to opening mule accounts in the area for Rajasthani fraudsters in exchange for Rs 2,000 per account.

They provided information that led to the arrest of the two people from Rajasthan's Alwar. Mahmud Khan obtained Rs 62 lakh through mule accounts that were fraudulently opened with IPPB, Nabarangpur, according to preliminary investigation.

The police added that the con artists were also obtaining SIM cards unlawfully from various sources and states to be utilised in this fraud.

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