Puri: An inter-state cyber crime syndicate involved in the Sri Jagannath Temple Bhakt Nibas cyber fraud case was busted by Puri police on Tuesday with the arrest of two persons.
The arrested accused persons have been identified as Chandan Singh (27) of Keonjhar and Goutam Sahoo (39) of Bhadrak. They were allegedly cheating tourists through a fake website created by them for booking hotel rooms in Puri.
A complaint was filed against this website by the Administrator (Development), Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) AK Jena in November 2022. It was alleged that someone created a fake website in the name of Nilanchal Bhakta Nibas using mobile number 7735227692. Several tourists had been duped through this fake website.
Investigation proved that it was an inter-state racket. The prime accused was traced to Gobardhan police limits in the Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh. The SIM card used in this cybercrime was issued by Chandan and later sold to the fraudster through Goutam and another accused from Alwar of Rajasthan, police sources said.
Chandan is alleged to have sold more than 100 pre-activated SIM Cards to criminals enabling them to commit cyber fraud. Goutam was arrested by Dwaraka Cyber PS in Delhi in connection with another cyber fraud case in October 2022. He is out on bail at present and Puri police is taking steps for his bail cancellation.
A team supervised by DSP City K Hariprasad, OPS and led by Jnanendra Sahoo, IIC Cyber PS, Puri visited Mathura(UP), Alwar (Rajasthan), Bhadrak and Keonjhar District and apprehended Chandan Singh and Goutam Sahoo with seizure of 5 mobile phones & 31 SIM Cards. They have been arrested and will be forwarded to the court today under sections – U/S 419/420/468/120(B) IPC /66 (C)/66(D) IT Act.
Steps taken to prevent Cyber Fraud related to Hotel Booking –
Today, on 7.2.2023, 2nd meeting was held at Town Police Station conference hall. Tourist Officer Puri, various Hoteliers and various police officers participated in the meeting. It has been decided to ascertain genuine contact numbers of various hotels of Puri and update them on official tourism website / information portal. Hotel owners have been requested to provide the same to District Tourist Officer for the purpose.
Various SIM sales distributors of Puri District were also asked to attend the meeting. All SIM Distributors have been sensitised to sell / provide SIM only after due verification of the customer and to have robust KYC mechanisms to prevent issuing of fake / prevaricated SIM cards.
In last 3 months, more than 2 Lakhs of frauded money has been returned to the victims. And more than 5 lakhs money has been blocked and likely to be returned to victims of Cyber fraud soon.
Puri Police has requested all citizens & tourists to report any suspicious activity to Puri District 24×7 Tourist helpline number 6370-967100.
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