One more arrested in OTP sharing scam in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Odisha STF arrested one more person for his alleged involvement in sharing OTP to Pakistani Intelligence Operatives.

Pradyumna Kumar Sahoo, 32, the resident of Mahitama village under Nuagaon police limits in Nayagarh district, was apprehended on June 7 in the OTP sharing case.

The accused is a graduate and had earlier worked as territory sales executive in Idea and as Point manager in Jio. Currently, he was working in Blackbuck Fastag company.

The youth is accused of supplying/selling more than 500 pre-activated SIMs and 150+ pre-activated Paytm wallets to Pathani Samanta Lenka, who was arrested earlier in the OTP sharing case. The SIMs and wallets were sold to various cyber criminals and Pakistani Intelligence Operatives, the STF said in a release.

The SIMs and wallets sold by Pradyumna, were used by Pakistani Intelligence Operatives, ISI agents including some based inside Pakistan particularly from Karachi and Baluchistan.

During the investigation, the STF found that the accused used to generate multiple SIMs by fooling the customers or SIM buyers on pretext of some technical glitches.

Worth mentioning that the registered mobile phone numbers (linked with bank account)) are mandatory for activation of different wallets such as Phone Pe, Google Pay and others. However, in case of Paytm wallet account, the method is not same. The customer can operate the Paytm wallet by sharing the OTP, User ID and password to others having different mobile number.

The STF is currently analysing the process and considering writing to Paytm to make some changes in its settings for transparency.

On May 13, the investigating agency had arrested three accused persons including an ITI teacher in connection with the case.

The accused persons were Pathani Samant Lenka (35), a resident of Badapandusar under Itamati PS in Nayagarh district; Saroj Kumar Nayak, an ITI teacher from Dasapalla area in Nayagarh district; Soumya Pattanaik from Sujanpur area in Jajpur district. The trio was arrested following raids by the STF on charges of sharing OTP to anti-national elements. They were booked under sections 419/420/465/467/468/471/120(B)/34 IPC r/w. 66 C & 66 D IT Act, 2000.

During the raid, the STF had seized various incriminating materials such as mobile phones, pre-activated SIM cards and laptop from their possession. The seized materials included 19 mobile phones including one Apple mobile, 47 SIM cards, 61 ATM cards and 23 SIM covers.

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