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Cyber crime up in Naxal areas after note ban

Post demonetisation, cyber crime cases have shot up as cyber criminals have exploited the transition to a digital economy, to exploit the gullible citizens. 

However, a recent trend of Naxals exploiting the trend has come to the fore, as more than a thousand gangs with expertise in cheating have opened up ‘cheating schools’ in the three districts of Girdih, Latehar and Palamu, in Jharkhand with the patronage of the Naxals.

These gangs operate in the dense forest areas of Jharkhand, where the police officials are unable to keep a vigil, due to the high influx of militant combatants.

The trend came to light, when a raid was conducted in Giridh, and the police managed to arrest an accused, Sandeep Mahal, wanted for fraudulently obtaining credit card details and transferring the money to fictitious bank accounts.

When he was arrested, it was found that he was in cahoots with a wanted Naxalite, Pintu Mandal, the kingpin of the racket.

“When we sent a raiding team in the area, we found that more than a thousand gangs were operating the in the three districts. The accused, were collaborating with known Naxal operatives and had opened up cheating schools in the area, wherein they teach youngsters every single trick in the book relating to cheating,” said a highly placed police source.

The graduates of these cheating schools go on to become high profile cheaters as they start using mobile phones and target victims. The forest area provides them with tactical cover.

The gangs operating in the region hang their phones from the tree daring the police to trace their location.

“They use those cell phones to make calls and they do not even dispose their cell phones. They dare the police to come into the area, as they know that they have Naxal as well as local support. The local police officials lock the police station by 6:30 pm,” the source added.

Delhi Police is now looking at this trend with anxiety as they worry that the cuts given by the criminal gangs could be used to finance terror activities in the future.

“We have just come across this trend. We have deputed several teams in the area to further investigate the matter. For the South West district the main focus in 2017 will be on cyber crime,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (South-West), Surender Kumar. 
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