Police raid 14 cybercrime hot-spot villages in Nuh, 125 hackers apprehended
Such was the scale of the operation that personnel were called in from at least 10 districts of Gurugram, Faridabad, Bhiwani, Hisar, Panchkula, Rohtak, Sirsa, Jind, Ambala and Dari, senior officers said. Over 20 cases have been registered following the raids, police said
Over 125 suspects, allegedly involved in financial frauds and hacking, were arrested early Wednesday following simultaneous raids at 300 locations in 14 villages of Nuh, carried out by over 5,000 police personnel during an overnight operation to crack down on cybercrime.
Such was the scale of the operation that personnel were called in from at least 10 districts of Gurugram, Faridabad, Bhiwani, Hisar, Panchkula, Rohtak, Sirsa, Jind, Ambala and Dari, senior officers said.
Over 20 cases have been registered following the raids, which yielded 66 smartphones, 65 fake SIMs, 166 Aadhaar cards, three laptops, 128 ATM cards of different banks, two ATM swipe machines, one AEPS machine, six scanners, five PAN cards, seven countrymade pistols, two cartridges, two cars, four tractor-trolleys, and 22 motorcycles, said police.
Varun Singla, superintendent of police, Nuh, said 102 teams were formed after they identified 300 locations in 14 villages of Khedla, Luhinga Khurd, Luhinga Kalan, Gokalpur, Godhola, Aminabad, Mahu, Gulalta, Jaimat, Jakhopur, Nai, Tirwara, Mamlika and Papda as hot spots of cyber crimes.
“We identified the spots and police were deployed on all stretches leading to those points so as to stop suspects from fleeing. We arrested 144 persons and 19 were later let go after they joined the investigation,” he said.
Singla said among those apprehended were around 15 juveniles. “We conducted raids at all possible hideouts with the help of locals and seized a large number of digital equipment that were being used to dupe people across the country. We mapped these cybercrime hot spots after a three-month long exercise and also prepared a sheet on suspects and their relatives. We were keeping a close watch on their activities to ensure that they don’t flee the district,” he said.
Nuh police launched the massive crackdown in 40 villages following an exhaustive analysis of data from at least 10,000 suspicious mobile phone numbers active around these villages and in the Aravalli forests.
Police said investigations into cyber fraud complaints registered in other districts and in other states led to these villages in Nuh as the origin point of these crimes. There are 434 villages in the district, police said, and since most of them are located in the foothills of the Aravallis, they serve as perfect spots for making fraudulent calls as most locations remain untraceable, police said.
“We are questioning suspects to gather details of gangs so that we can arrest more people involved in such crime,” said an investigator who is part of the probe, adding that they are yet to arrest the masterminds and trainers who trained these suspects to commit the frauds.
Simardeep Singh, deputy inspector general of the special task force (STF), said the raids came on the directives of Haryana director general of police. “The Nuh superintendent of police played a major role in making this entire operation successful,” he said.
Singh said the over 5,000 police personnel were led by one superintendent of police (SP), six additional SPs, and 14 deputy SPs, among others.
“The operation lasted 24 hours, and the 14 identified villages were in the areas of Punhana, Pinangwa, Ferozepur Jhirka and Bichhore,” Singh said.
Police said the operation was planned in advance and a special training was imparted to the search team between April 4 and April 8 in Bhondsi.
SP Singla said the suspects have undergone training to dupe people through frauds perpetrated on digital wallets such as Paytm, besides insurance fraud, matrimonial fraud, and loan frauds.
“The highest number of arrests -- 31-- were from Nai village, followed by Luhinga Kalan village from where 25 people were arrested. Twenty each were arrested from Jaimat and Jakhopur, 17 each from Khedla and Tirwara, and 11 from Aminabad,” he said.
Police have also arrested one suspect carrying a reward of ₹10,000 on his arrest.
Police said during questioning, the suspects revealed the role of people from other states in the racket and once all details are compiled, more raids will be conducted in those states and districts of Haryana, said police.