Jamtara gang in Odisha! 3 online fraudsters accused of duping people from 20 States nabbed in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: The Crime Branch of Odisha Police today arrested three youth in Bhubaneswar for allegedly defrauding people through online payment platforms. The accused were operating in the pattern of notorious ‘Jamtara Gang’ and were involved in duping people from 20 States.

Crime Branch ADG, Sanjeeb Panda informed the three accused were staying together on rent in Rasulgarh area of Bhubaneswar since December 28, 2021 and operating from there. They identified themselves as students and took the house on rent.

The accused have been identified as Pradhum Kumar Mondal aged 20 years, Krishna Kumar Mondal aged 19 years and Chetlal Modnal aged 28 years. While two of them are from Giridihi area of Jharkhand State, the other one is from Dhanbad area, Panda said.

Pradhum and Chetlal’s educational qualification is Class 9 fail, whereas Krishan is a student of Political Science in second year of Plus III.

Speaking about the modus operandi of the three fraudsters, Panda added they were contacting a large number of people of Odisha and other States by sending bulk SMSes to them and making voice calls impersonating themselves as bank officials. The accused then collected credentials of bank customers and siphoned off a huge amount of money from the account holders.

Their modus operandi also consisted of purchasing a list of mobile numbers from suspected sources and then impersonating themselves as bank officials they contacted the victims under the guise of updating account number or KYC etc using prepaid SIMs.

They purchased hundreds of pre-activated SIM cards and frequently change them and use on different mobile phone set so that nobody can get any clue about their identity. After getting the credentials of the bank customers, the accused transferred money from the account of victims to various digital payments platform like Paytm, Google Pay and Phonepay. They then used to purchase gift vouchers using the cheated money and purchased expensive items. Using this fake SIMs, the accused have contacted more than 4,34,834 people in different States including Odisha, the Crime Branch found during the investigation.

The accused are part of larger group which keep some moving independent part the country and commit cybercrime so that they are not detected and arrested by police.

The three accused had been buying data of bank customers in West Bengal. The Crime Branch also came to know from the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal (NCRP) that as many as 171 online fraud cases have been registered in 20 States against the three.

Also, the cops seized 33 SIM cards registered in the name of persons from Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal States. A total of 11 mobile phones, two laptops, a tab and two debit cards have been seized from the three accused.

Investigation is on to find out how the fraudsters were getting the data and who else were involved in online frauds. The three accused will be taken on a seven-day remand for questioning and the investigating agency will appeal before the court for the same, Panda added.

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