Officials of Mumbai Police’s cyber cell were shocked to find that four Africans arrested from Pune for allegedly running a job racket possessed a database of 2 lakh email IDs and more than one lakh mobile phone numbers, a staggering resource they used to commit online fraud. The four accused, including two women, are nationals of Zambia, Uganda, Namibia, and Ghana. All of them had come to India on the student visa and at least three of them were found to be overstaying as their visas had expired, an official said on Wednesday. The police launched the investigation after a man approached the cyber cell in BKC in Mumbai claiming he was duped of Rs 26 lakh between April and July by fraudsters under the pretext of offering a job in the USA.
Police tracked down the four accused to Pune by picking up the technical trail left behind by one of them who had used his (Wifi) router to access the Internet, the official said. The accused are in the age group of 22 to 32 years. ”The investigation revealed the accused possessed a database of 2 lakh email IDs, 1,04,000 mobile phone numbers of people which they were using to dupe people,” the official said.
Police also recovered 13 mobile phones, four laptops, passports from different countries, three Internet routers, 17 chequebooks from different banks, 115 SIM cards, 40 fake rubber stamps, and details of accounts in at least six different banks.
An FIR was registered under sections 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), and 120-B (conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act.