LUCKNOW: In one of the biggest catch, Cyber Crime Police of Uttar Pradesh has arrested the country’s most notorious cyber criminal Pramod Mandal and his accomplice Mantu Kumar Mandal from Kolkata. Both the criminals hailing from Jharkhand’s infamous Dumka area were involved in pension frauds with retired policemen along with other online and calling frauds.
According to the police, both the cybercriminals were masterminds behind maximum cyber crime originating from Jharkhand. They not only had several gang members but have trained many youngsters who are now active criminals. Pramod allegedly organised a group with numerous of his relatives and distant relatives.
Police said the gang members were cheating retired officials posing as treasury officials in order to defraud retired government personnel. This gang in last one year had cheated retired officers of more than Rs 5 crore in UP alone.
The action came after UP police received various complaints of retired police personnel that how they were cheated of their pension. In just three months, pensioner Chhote Lal was scammed of Rs 11 lakh, while Ram Lakhan Chaudhary was defrauded of Rs 10 lakh, and Udayveer Singh was defrauded of Rs 10 lakh. Not just police officers, but also retired officials of other government departments were cheated.
Several similar complaints were made to the Lucknow and Hardoi district cyber cell units. A retired secretariat official in Lucknow was scammed of Rs 53 lakh.
Ram Kumar, the Additional Director General of the UP Cyber Cell, said Pramod Mandal was the mastermind behind the duping of 36 retired government officials. Kumar also claimed that the accused posed as treasury officer and cheated them by offering government schemes and retirement benefits.
“In this way, they were able to effortlessly deceive the target and used it to get the password to their ATM or bank account information. The money was then transferred to e-wallets, which they cashed,” Kumar explained.
“We are looking for other gangs member who were associated with it. The gang will be booked under stringent gangster act. A team will reach their village to identify their property and later auction it. We are also coordinating with police teams of other states to identify more victims and amount of money they have made,” said Prof Triveni Singh, Superintendent of police, cyber crime.
According to another police officer familiar with the investigation, each gang member is assigned a certain task, such as opening false bank accounts, obtaining fake SIM cards, making calls to victims, alerting about police movements, and bank work to encash the money earned through fraud. They were allotted a certain amount of money based on the importance of their task.
UP Police is conducting searches to arrest other gang members who were behind the fraud. Jharkhand’s Dumka, Karmatar and Jamtara area has a tainted past of its own. These were a hamlet of a few huts a few years ago. In their pursuit of opulence, cyber fraudsters resorted to methods that would provide them with quick cash. The once sleepy hamlet of small huts has now been transformed into a town of palatial houses.