Based on inputs from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Interpol, the Central Bureau of Investigation along with state police forces conducted searches at 105 locations across the country against “cyber-enabled financial crimes” on Tuesday.
The raids were part of CBI’s ‘Operation Chakra’ and involved police forces from six states and Union Territories – Andaman and Nicobar (searches at four locations), New Delhi (five locations), Chandigarh (three locations) and at two locations each in Punjab, Karnataka and Assam.
“Of all the locations, CBI alone has conducted searches at around 80 locations spread across 13 states. The agency also received inputs for the raids from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police,” sources said.
“From one location in Rajasthan, CBI recovered Rs 1.5 crore cash and 1.5 kg gold. The accused person had been running an illegal call centre. Two such call centres were also busted in Ahmedabad and Pune. They were involved in call centre fraud in the US. The FBI has been informed and they are taking follow-up action,” a CBI official said.
Sources said the agency has also recovered digital evidence including details of financial transactions and cyber crime activity on the dark web. “A person of interest has also been identified in Punjab in this connection,” they added.
“This operation is being coordinated by CBI’s cyber crime division. These global operations are being galvanised by CBI’s recently launched international operations division – Cyber Crime Investigation Division,” an official said.
The raids are a part of operations that the CBI is spearheading ahead of the Interpol conference to be held in Delhi October 18 onwards.
On September 29, central agencies, state police forces along with Interpol arrested 175 people in a nationwide crackdown on drug trafficking. They had seized 45 kgs of various drugs.
The searches were conducted by the CBI, Narcotics Control Bureau and police forces of Punjab, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur and Maharashtra. After the searches, 6,600 persons were searched, 127 new cases were registered and 175 persons, including six absconding accused, were arrested. Carried under the name of “Operation Garuda”, the CBI claimed the crackdown was done in coordination with Interpol.
According to CBI, during the searches, illicit drugs including 5.125 kg (approx) heroin; 33.936 kg (approx) ganja; 3.29 kg (approx) charas; 1,365 gm (approx) Mephedrone; 33.80 gm (approx) smack; around 87 Tablets, 122 injections & 87 syringes of Buprenorphine; 946 tablets (approx) Alprazolam; 105.997 kg (approx) Tramadol; 10 gm (approx) hash oil; 0.9 gm (approx) Ecstacy pills; 1.15 kg (approx) opium; 30 kg (approx) Poppy Husk; 1.437 kg (approx) intoxicant powder & 11,039 (approx) pills/capsules, were recovered.
“The Central Bureau of Investigation has launched a multi-phase “Operation GARUDA” which seeks to disrupt, degrade and dismantle drug networks with international linkages through the rapid exchange of criminal intelligence on drug trafficking and coordinated law enforcement actions across international jurisdiction through Interpol. This global operation was initiated in close coordination with Interpol and Narcotics Control Bureau, for combating the smuggling of illicit drugs and psychotropic substances, with a special focus on Indian Ocean Region. Drug trafficking networks with international linkages require law enforcement cooperation across international jurisdiction,” the CBI said in a statement.