Gangtok: Sikkim Police CID branch nabbed 5 individuals from Titaghar, Barackpore (Central Zone) in Kolkata for e-commerce fraud in Sikkim.

The incident occurred on November 11, when the victim from Sikkim received a phone call claiming to be from popular e-commerce portal Amazon.

Addressing the media, SP CID Tenzing Loden Lepcha said, “The victim was shopping on Amazon when they saw a lucky draw and an advertisement. They (the accused) sent a link to her to buy an item worth Rs 5,000. The lucky draw would grant her a Dell Laptop. The call came through for confirmation and urged her to pay GST worth Rs 11,000, claiming it would be refunded. The payment was claimed to not being cleared, and the person eventually lost Rs 4.96 lakh.”

A month later, an FIR was filed on December 11 in Sadar Police Station, wherein the case was registered under IPC and IT Act sections 419, 420, 120(b), 66(b) and 66(d).

“We have identified 20-30 people to be behind the e-commerce fraud from Titaghar. We also learned that the entire area had multiple cases of such e-commerce fraud from across the country. There were officials from Bhopal as well as trying to identify culprits from similar fraud. We had sent a team of six police officials from Sikkim Police for two weeks to investigate. The arrests were made in 2 phases, with the first arrest of 4 individuals taking place on 21 February, and the second team brought another arrested individual on February 2. The Sikkim Police team led by Police Inspector Abhishek Dahal was aided by West Bengal DCP (North Zone) Amarnath K, to escort the culprit till Gangtok, Sikkim”, stated Superintendent of Police CID.

The SP CID asserted that the accused were making close to Rs 40 lakh per day and were duping individuals across the country. “Each of these culprits had more than Rs 3 lakh in their bank account, which has now been frozen. There were quite powerful people involved whom they had paid off to extend support to them. But regarding compensation or refund, the onus lies on the Courts. Our jurisdiction entails us to identify and arrest the culprit, not the refund”, stated Lepcha.

The SP CID further asserted that there are more arrests to follow in the crime ring from Titaghar. He also said Kolkata police are looking into the matter. “If they are arrested, the system for cybercrime will inform us. There are no boundaries or jurisdiction to cybercrime. So far, we have arrested Amit Shaw, Sujit Singh, Mohammad Shahnawaz, Vinay Kumar Gupta and Deepak Das.”

Elsewhere, Sikkim Police has developed an SOP for cybercrime, which aids Investigation officers and station house officers in solving cybercrime cases. “These are modern crimes and at times, the police officers are not well versed to handle the cybercrime cases. They sent such cases to CID, but now with the SOP, it will be relatively easy for them to solve such cases. Often, such crimes leave a digital footprint like the IP address, based on which the police officers can trace the culprit with relative ease. The same SOP would be introduced in all the Police Stations of the State”, the SP stated.

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