Over 590 FIRs were registered, 291 persons arrested and Rs 1.1 crore rupees of defrauded money was frozen by the Delhi Police in the period between April to May during the second wave of COVID-19 when there was a sudden spurt in demand for oxygen cylinders and medicines in the national capital, police said on Thursday.
Addressing the media at its annual press meet, Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana said the cheats and scamsters tried to take advantage of the covid situation in the second wave during the peak period between April and May last year. According to the data, 567 FIRs were registered during April and May in 2021, 61 crack teams were formed by the crime branch and special cell to nab such fraudsters.
Citing the data, Asthana said under operation cyber Prahaar during covid wave 2,291 persons were arrested, 583 bank accounts were blocked, 1,158 mobile numbers were blocked through DoT, 233 mobile were tagged as 'COVID SCAM' through true caller. Moreover, 1.1 crore rupees of defrauded money was frozen.
Asthana stressed on prevention of cyber crime and said in future there is a possibility of increase in cyber related crime and said keeping this factor in mind, 15 cyber police stations were created in each district with effect from November 17, 2021. This was done to exclusively handle cyber complaints so that such cases can be given faster response time which is essential for cyber cheating cases, he added.
A separate number 155260 (now 1930) which became operational in April, 2021, various awareness campaigns were also initiated to lodge cyber fraud cases online. This platform for reporting all major public and private sector banks and is currently being utilized by 28 states and union territories.
The police chief said the Delhi Police received 1,15,013 calls in 2021 out of which 24,219 were related to financial frauds and 54,785 were related to other cyber complaints and Rs. 4.31 crore was frozen by Intelligence Fusion Strategic Operation. With this, police claimed that there was a drastic reduction in complaints within two weeks.
Under its operation MASOOM (Mitigation of Adolescent Sexually Offensive online Material), 187 cases were registered in different police statioj in the national capital in which 127 persons were arrested, police said. Under this operative, police focused on complaints related to pornographic material collected from National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children through National Crime Record Bureau, they added.
With PTI Inputs