The Mewat area has been recently in the news. This area spans Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh and now has replaced Jamtara as the epicentre of cyber scamming in India. Many scams targeting unsuspecting cell phone owners in different parts of the country are being orchestrated from the region’s new satellite towns and villages. The fraudsters in the Mewat region, which spans the borders of three states, keep the authorities on their toes just as much as the Jamtara cyber criminals did.
● Cyber Coordination Centre of India
To combat cybercrime in India systematically and efficiently, the government has established the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C). The Government of India’s Ministry of Home Affairs sponsors it. The plan’s projected budget of 415.86 crores (about $52 million) was authorised in October of this year.
I4C’s mission includes preventing, identifying, investigating, and prosecuting cybercrimes easier by bringing together experts from academia, industry, the public, and government.
● Joint Cybercrime Coordination team included Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan representatives.
Delhi police has created a joint cybercrime coordination team with Delhi police as the main agency to investigate cybercrimes emanating from the Mewat area in north India. Mewat region of Haryana-Rajasthan and Bharatpur in Rajasthan will be the focus of JCCT, which consists of members from multiple states, including Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, and Delhi.
Cases of cyber fraud originating in Mewat and Bharatpur have been reported to police in the NCR during the past four years. The gangs formerly ran their operations out of remote areas like Jamtara, Jharkhand.
In 2019 and 2020, similar joint coordination teams concentrated on these gangs and broke them, decreasing crime in Jamtara. According to the police, Bharatapur and Mewat are now where it’s at.
51 top cops from around the country met for a meeting, along with the CEO of the Indian Crime Cyber Coordination Centre (I4C) to discuss the issues and challenges faced by the Police force in the investigation and tracking of such cyber criminals and also to devise strategies and tactics to bust the whole nexus of cybercriminal operating directly or indirectly from this region.
● Where does Indian Crime Cyber Coordination Centre 14C fit in, if at all?
The I4C is the Centre’s nodal agency for all matters related to cybercrime in the States, coordinating with law enforcement agencies nationwide.
“In the meeting, we discussed how the states must work together like we did when busting the networks of Jamtara. Inputs will be shared among all forces to work together. Interstate coordination is necessary because cyber criminals sit in one state and con a person from another state. The bank accounts where the duped money is deposited could be in another state. To nip the bud, a coordinated effort need is necessary by police teams of all forces,” – said a Delhi police special cell officer, who has asked not be named.
DCP Prashant Gautam said that by sharing “The modus operandi of criminals detected during investigations by the participating states have also been shared so that the best practices can be replicated by other states/UTs”. “There were also discussions regarding hotspots and the action plan to mitigate the menace of cybercrime originating from these hotspots.” The states’ contributions will be collated, and subsequent steps will be done in light of this information.
● Recent cases of cybercrimes: Mewat
As several recent cybercrimes have been traced back to the Mewat area, the cyber police of many states have set up virtual camps there. Haryana’s cyber police blocked around five lakh SIM cards in the Mewat area between January 2022 and January 2023 that were being used to conduct cyber fraud nationwide. Around 402 offenders in about 40 villages were using SIM cards.
Cops have called the Mewat region—which spans parts of Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh—the “new Jamtara” due to the high volume of calls they receive from there. SIM card blocking is ineffective since criminals often use a fresh SIM card for each heist. The investigation has determined that a unique SIM card is used for each target. In response, law enforcement must launch a coordinated strike, which JCCT-I hopes to facilitate by exchanging real-time data and logistical support across states.
Five people were caught by police in Delhi last month; they were based in Mewat, Haryana, and Bharatpur, Rajasthan. From their hometown of Bharatpur, they had used their mobile phones to con victims in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, and Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
The new cybercrime coordination team will work to catch and prosecute cybercriminals in the Mewat area. They are the ray of hope for the natives of the Mewat region.
- “Shri Amit Shah inaugurates Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) in New Delhi; dedicates National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal to the Nation”. Press Information Bureau. January 10, 2020.
Author : Ms. Amisha Sah, Intern, CyberPeace