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  4. EXCLUSIVE: Rajasthan Police cracks down on cyber crime in Mewat | Know all about 'Operation Anti-Virus'

EXCLUSIVE: Rajasthan Police cracks down on cyber crime in Mewat | Know all about 'Operation Anti-Virus'

The Rajasthan Police has launched a massive crackdown on cyber crime under which people from India as well as abroad were duped on the internet.

Reported By : Manish Bhattacharya Edited By : Ashesh Mallick
Jaipur
Published on: June 18, 2024 23:19 IST
Operation Anti-Virus, Rajasthan Police, Cyber crime in Mewat, Mewat, Bhajanlal Sharma
Image Source : INDIA TV Operation Anti-Virus

The Rajasthan Police has uncovered an international cyber racket in the Mewat region where a major scam took place under which innocent people were looted on the internet. The police have arrested people who were involved in blackmailing and committing cyber fraud. The police have named it ‘Operation Anti-Virus’ in Mewat and launched a massive crackdown on those involved in cyber fraud. Thousands of SIM cards, mobile phones, swipe machines used for fund transfers, and cash counting machines have been seized from the fraudsters.

Why did the operation start?

During the Lok Sabha election campaign, Rajasthan's Chief Minister, Bhajanlal Sharma, visited various states including Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Odisha, and Maharashtra. He received the same complaint everywhere he went: cyber fraudsters from Mewat were scamming people not only in India but in several countries worldwide. Senior officers and ministers in each state reported that they too had fallen victim to cyber fraud, and the investigations consistently traced the fraudsters back to Mewat. They urged the Chief Minister to take action to stop this cybercrime in the region. Sharma took action and ordered the police to launch an anti-cybercrime campaign, resulting in the current crackdown on the fraudsters' network in Mewat.

Cybercriminals have scammed over Rs 7,000 crores in just one year. In 2024, the police received 7,50,000 complaints of cybercrime, compared to more than 1.5 million last year. Many villages in the Mewat area were involved in such crimes, with call centres set up in homes. Young boys and girls were hired on salaries to spend their days trapping people in scams over the phone.

India TV’s investigation

India TV's team accompanied the police during the raids under Operation Anti-Virus against cybercrime. The Mewat region, spanning Haryana and Rajasthan, reported at least 500 cases of cyber fraud daily. People were being deceived through investment lures, fake digital arrests, threats of disconnecting utilities, and sextortion.

Different gangs operated in Mewat to carry out cybercrimes. These gangs divided the tasks among themselves. Some of them gathered phone numbers, others created fake profiles, while another set was responsible for withdrawing money. Women and elderly people were also involved in cyber fraud. Cybercrime in Mewat became so organised that some people set up call centres dedicated to cyber fraud, earning billions of rupees. The most prevalent cybercrime in Mewat is sextortion. Bharatpur Range IG Rahul Prakash explained that Mewat's cyber gangs used fake profile pictures of girls to trap people and then extort money by blackmailing them.

Police file FIRs

More than 150 FIRs were filed for cybercrimes in the Mewat region alone. Over 400 fraudsters have been arrested so far. The police seized nearly 1,000 mobile phones, 300 ATM cards, 1,500 SIM cards, 10 micro ATMs, 6 swipe machines, 31 four-wheelers, 27 two-wheelers, 8 laptops, 1 tablet, and 6 computers. The fraudsters also had fingerprinting machines, cash counting machines, and weapons. Rahul Prakash said that bulldozers were used on the houses of some accused under Operation Anti-Virus. The police's strict actions are yielding results.

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