ED raids 5 locations in Jharkhand in first cyber conning PMLA case

New Delh. Sep 6: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) Thursday conducted searches at 5 locations in Jharkhand in connection with the first-of-its kind cyber crime money laundering case in which conmen based in a remote town of the state robbed gullible people of their hard-earned money by making cheat phone calls, officials said.
They said multiple teams of the central probe agency raided locations in Jamtara district and adjoining areas as part of the evidence gathering exercise in this probe.
The premises of at least four people, named as accused in the ED FIR, at five places are being searched, they said.
The agency had registered an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), the ED equivalent of a police FIR, last month as part of its first-of-its kind criminal case aimed to choke cyber banking fraudsters. It had filed as many as three ECIRs against Pradeep Kumar Mondal, Yugal Mondal and Santosh Yadav and their associates whom the agency has charged with have conned numerous people in the last few years by obtaining their vital banking information over phone (called ‘vishing’ in cyber terminology) after posing as bank officials.
These banking crimes perpetrated over phone and using stolen e-database has seen a phenomenal rise in the last few years prompting banks to ask their customers not to share their personal account details with anyone.
“It is alleged that these people and their associates, sitting in the remote town of Jamtara, siphoned off huge amount of money of bank account holders and have amassed assets worth about Rs 1 crore each. The state police has registered multiple FIRs against them.
“The ED has now taken over cases under the PMLA in order to choke finances and freeze tainted assets of these conmen,” a senior official had told PTI. The ECIRs are the first of their kind for the ED as they have been registered after taking cognisance of original FIRs and the predicate offence filed under the Information Technology (IT) Act and sections of the IPC.
The ED complaint stated that these alleged conmen and their associates used to “make random calls to bank account holders” residing in any part of the country and threatened them that their accounts would be suspended if they did not share their confidential banking credentials.