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Rising cyber crime haunts Kolkata Police

April 17, 2008 15:16 IST

As number of cases of obscene emails, credit card fraud, indentity theft, stalking at social networking sites and bogus online lotteries have swelled, the cyber crime cell of Kolkata Police has an enormous amount of work on its hands in the virtual world of the internet.

While 30 complaints were received each month, four to five could actually be followed up as real cases of cybercrime, Ashim Kar Choudhury, in charge of the cyber cell, told PTI.

"Cybercrime is a crime committed primarily through Internet contact and includes credit card fraud, identity theft, child pornography, indecent chat-room behaviour, e-mail fraud, threat and hacking of sites," he said.

After a man recently lost Rs 5,50,000 to a bogus online lottery, the cyber cell successfully tracked the Internet service protocol of the sender even though the gang sent mail from different e-mail addresses, Sanjoy Roy, an officer of the
cell, said.

"We have managed to arrest a key woman member of the gang from Delhi, but the other masterminds, all Nigerians, are absconding," he said.

"A software engineer of an MNC was caught after sending obscene mails to women employees of an NGO in 2006, while another executive was chargesheeted for posting morphed nude pictures of women in early 2007. Both are out in bail now," he said.

In another case of threat mail, a hardware engineer, a passout of a reputed educational institute, was tracked for threatening to blow up the institute ostensibly to settle a personal score, Roy said.

In August 2006, the department arrested a woman call centre employee on a complaint from the US that she was removing funds from credit cards, while an online prostitution racket was busted six months later and a person was arrested, Choudhury said.

"We are probing the complaint of a woman facing harassment on a popular social networking site and profile defacement, but for the sake of investigation the details cannot be divulged," he added.

Deputy Commissioner of the Detective Commissioner Jawed Shamim said the cell had the knowhow to track and retrieve stolen data, arrange digital forensic tests whenever required and software with which deleted images and text could be retrieved from hard drivers.

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