6 held for cloning fingerprints for bank accounts

Agencies
February 23, 2021

Shahjahanpur, Feb 23: Six people have been arrested by the Shahjahanpur police that has seized nearly 500 cloned fingerprints of beneficiaries along with their Aadhaar cards and bank passbooks.

The arrested persons include Gaurav, 26, a graduate who runs a photocopy shop in Kaant area.

Gaurav, who learnt fingerprint cloning using glue-gun and adhesive online, has allegedly hacked nearly 500 bank accounts of the beneficiaries of various government schemes such as PM Kisan Samman Yojana, old age pension, etc, in connivance with bank mitras.

"It takes just Rs 5 to clone a fingerprint," Gaurav told the police.

IG Bareilly range, Rajesh Pandey, said, "We are trying to gather more information about such gangs active in the state by sharing the information with headquarters."

The Shahjahanpur police unearthed the racket being run from Jalalabad area of the district after getting repeated complaints from several beneficiaries who had not received money from the government into their bank accounts.

SP, S. Anand, had handed over the case to the crime branch, which found that though the money was credited into the beneficiaries' accounts, it was later withdrawn through Jan Suvidha Kendras being run by bank mitras.

Further investigations revealed the names of Shivram, Sunil Tripathi, Dev Vratt, Sandeep Singh, Shehrun, Rajveer and Hukum Singh, all of whom are bank mitras.

After gathering information, four accused - Shivram, Sunil Tripathi, Dev Vratt and Sandeep Singh - were arrested with cloned fingerprints and several counterfeit stamps, while Gaurav was arrested later.

During interrogation, it was found that Gaurav used to clone fingerprints for the bank mitras using glue-gun and adhesive that would cost him less than Rs 5 per cloning.

Gaurav is suspected to be involved with other gangs in the district as well.

"They used cloned fingerprints to spoof biometrics to carry out financial transactions by hacking bank accounts. Most of the victims are illiterate. The technique used for cloning fingerprints is available online and it is often misused. We will see if such contents can be removed," the IG said.

Rohit Kumar, sub-inspector, crime branch, said, "The accused have been booked under sections 467 (forgery of valuable security, will, etc), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 ( using as genuine a forged 1(document or electronic record) and 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of the Indian Penal Code at Jalalabad police station."

A cash reward of Rs 25,000 has been announced for the team that cracked the case.

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Agencies
February 24,2021

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New Delhi, Feb 24: Shantanu Muluk, who is an accused in the 'Toolkit' conspiracy case related to the farmers' protest, has asserted that he merely created the document with information on the agitation, which was then edited by others without his knowledge.

Muluk, along with climate activist Disha Ravi and Nikita Jacob are facing charges of conspiracy and sedition in the case related to the farmers' protest. The police said that the 'Toolkit' was a sinister design to defame India and cause violence.

"He merely created a document containing information about the protest and it was then edited by others without the knowledge or involvement," the bail petition filed by him on Tuesday stated, adding that he did not access the document after January 20.

Muluk asserted that he helped collate information about the site of farmers' protests and formulate it in the form of a map for easy reference. "The toolkit clearly shows that there is absolutely no connection with their social media support for the farmers protests, and with any violence whatsoever."

There is absolutely nothing in the "Toolkit' that advises doing anything unlawful, he said, adding that all it talks about is social media and offline peaceful protests and contacting elected representatives.

He further emphasized that there was nothing objectionable about the content included by him in the document and had no control over the document as others were also permitted to edit the same.

He said that he has never had any contact with any person outside India in relation to the Toolkit, while clarifying the allegation put forth by the police on his links with the Canada-based Khalistani organisations 'Poetic Justice Foundation' and Sikhs for Justice.

"That there may be differing views on 'internationalising' a protest, but the same is certainly not illegal. Applicant as a climate activist perforce campaigns with activists internationally. Simply talking to persons from outside India cannot be criminalised," the petition said.

He further claimed to not know about the co-founder of Poetic Justice Foundation MO Dhaliwal and stated in the bail plea that nothing objectionable was said in the zoom call on January 11, of which they both were part of.

"There were some 70 odd persons on the call of whom the applicant did not know anybody apart from his colleague Nikita Jacob. Some people spoke there but nobody said anything that was divisive on the Zoom Call so the applicant had no reason to suspect anyone or anything," Muluk emphasized.

Fearing arrest, Muluk moved the Patiala House Court in Delhi seeking anticipatory bail on Tuesday, days before the end of ten-day transit remand granted to him by the Bombay High Court on February 16. The court will hear the arguments on this bail plea on Thursday.

Muluk and Jacob had joined the investigation at Delhi Police's Cyber Cell office in Dwarka on February 22, and were later confronted with Disha Ravi.

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Agencies
February 22,2021

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Mumbai, Feb 22: Mohan Delkar, Lok Sabha member from Dadra and Nagar Haveli, was found dead in a Mumbai hotel on Monday, police said.

The body of Delkar (58), a seven-term MP from the Dadra and Nagar Haveli Union Territory, was found at a Marine Drive hotel in south Mumbai, a police official said.

The official declined to comment on reports that a suicide note in Gujarati was also found with the body of the Independent MP.

Delkar was in May 2019 elected to the 17th Lok Sabha, his seventh term in the House.

He was a member of the Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice and also a member of the Consultative Committee, Ministry of Home Affairs of the Lower House.

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News Network
February 17,2021

Bengaluru, Feb 17: Searches are being carried out in various medical colleges in Karnataka by I-T sleuths, sources in the Income Tax department said on Wednesday.

The raids were conducted in certain colleges in Bengaluru, Mangaluru and Davangere.

The I-T sleuths accompanied by Enforcement Directorate officials swooped down on institutions, offices and residences belonging to owners of the medical colleges this morning.

In the state capital, raids were carried out at two colleges. However, officials did not divulge any information on the raids. Details to follow  

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