Bhubaneswar: The Odisha STF has arrested one more person in connection with an inter-State fake SIM card and mule bank account racket. The accused Samim Islam was arrested from Murshidabad in West Bengal on Dec 4 and was brought to Bhubaneswar today after a three-day transit remand. He will be produced before the SDJM court in Bhubaneswar.
With Islam, the total number of arrests in the case has gone up to four with the STF nabbing three others namely – SK Hapizul, SK Jahangir and SK Jamiruddin -earlier. While two of them hailed from Raibania in Balasore district, the others are from West Bengal.
All four of them were running mule bank Accounts and sold these bank accounts along with the connected mobile numbers to various Cyber, cyber-financial, sextortion scammers and other criminals based at Kolkata and other parts of India. Official sources said Islam was was one of the key members of the racket having links mainly in West Bengal and Bihar with Jamiruddin in charge.
The racket was being carried out mainly in the tri-junction area of Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal especially in the districts of Balasore, Mayurbhanj, East Midnapore, West Midnapore, East Sighbhum, West Singhbhum and Saraikela.
Investigation revealed that Jamiruddin had employed around 10-15 people at the rate of Rs 15000 per month to open bank accounts. These members visit various interior areas of these district targeting mainly poor villagers and persuade them for opening the bank accounts. Villagers are generally offered Rs 2000 per account for giving their documents and opening the bank accounts. However the mobile numbers linked with bank accounts are provided by gang members. The rate of Rs 2000 per account differs depending on the bargaining/ awareness level of the villager.
In turn, the gang than sell these bank accounts along with the connected mobile numbers to various Cyber, cyber-financial, sextortion scammers and other criminals based at Kolkata and other parts of India.
They also use social media platform like secret WhatsApp group, Facebookpages, Telegram channel to sell
the mule bank accounts. They sell mule bank accounts at the rate of Rs 15,000-20,000 per account. So far they have sold around five thousands mule bank accounts at different platforms.
It has also come to the notice that the scammers frequently change the bank accounts. Generally they abandon the bank accounts once it reaches a transaction of Rs 1 lakh. Sometimes the accounts get frozen even before that by
concerned banks on the request of police or law enforcement agencies, the official release stated.