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Cyber crime, alert for Pune : Lack of records, manpower take toll on probe

RTI queries reveal Pune police commissionerate has no compiled data on registered cases.

Written by Chandan Haygunde , Sushant Kulkarni | Pune | Published: July 6, 2015 3:08:37 am
cyber crime, pune cyber crime, pune police, RTI, Pune cyber crime RTI, Bank of Maharashtra, pune news, city news, locla news, pune newsline, Indian Express Even as incidents of cyber crime are on the rise in the city, Pune police do not seem to be maintaining proper records of such cases.

1. Cyber fraudsters withdrew over $45,000 (Rs 28.45 lakh) from Megha Sonar’s bank account without her consent. Sonar is based in Australia and has her account in Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) in Pune. Her money was transferred to a bank account in Hong Kong. BoM filed a police complaint in April 2015. No arrests have been made yet.

2. Cyber fraudsters lured a businessman, Akash Bajaj (23) of Pimpri, by promising him huge financial returns on investment in herbal seeds trade. After he paid them Rs 10.74 lakh in cash and through online transactions, they vanished. Bajaj filed a police complaint in June 2015. No arrests have been made so far.

3. Cyber criminals posing as bank and telecom company officials contacted Hamida Taj (61) of Kondhwa Khurd over phone. They told Hamida she had won a prize of Rs 25 lakh and a car. They managed to get confidential details of her bank account. They then withdrew Rs 10,79,550 from it through online transactions. She filed a police complaint in April 2015. In this case too, there have been no arrests.

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Even as incidents of cyber crime are on the rise in the city, Pune police do not seem to be maintaining proper records of such cases.

Applications filed by The Indian Express under the Right to Information (RTI) Act have revealed that neither the cyber crime cell, that started on May 29, 2005, nor any other branch of the Pune police commissionerate has compiled data on cyber crime cases registered in its jurisdiction. This at a time when an average of one complaint per day is received at the cyber cell, apart from others at police stations.
The records of such cases are essential for a better understanding, investigation and prevention of cyber crimes

The newspaper filed two RTI applications seeking details of all offences registered under sections of the Information Technology (IT) Act at the cyber crime cell and all police stations under the Pune police commissionerate between January 2005 and May 2015.

In reply to both RTI applications, assistant commissioner of police (crime) Rajendra Joshi, the public information officer (PIO), said that such data is not compiled by the Pune police commissionerate. It added that police stations are the source for this information. So a fresh application was filed at the office of divisional ACPs, who are the PIOs for police stations.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (cyber cell) D K Sakore said, “The process of compiling details of cyber crimes in our jurisdiction is on. We will study the cases and do a proper analysis for understanding new trends, modus operandi and other important aspects.”

A cyber security expert closely working with the police said, “Collective analysis of crimes helps in understanding important aspects like which kind of people are being targeted, the timings and places of crime, the mistakes committed by victims due to which they fell prey to fraudsters, new modus operandi. It helps in investigation and also in prevention of cyber crimes.”

The state CID compiles data on cyber crimes along with all kinds of offences as a part of its annual “Crime in Maharashtra” record. But this data is not recent. Currently, the CID has data on cyber crimes till 2013. According to the figures, Pune leads in the list of cyber crimes.

In 2013, as many as 97 cases under IT act were registered with Pune city police, in which 38 persons were arrested. Yavatmal ranked second with 61 cases and Thane city third with 52 offences. Even in 2012, Pune was leading with 108 cases under IT act, Thane second with 89 cases. Mumbai was third with 33 offences.

Financial frauds, eve teasing, revenge and hatred form a major part of cyber crimes in Pune. Foreign nationals are involved particularly in online frauds. But only one foreign national was arrested in cyber crime in 2013 and seven in 2012.

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