Another Strike by the Uttarakhand STF: A Hawala Operator is Arrested in Maharashtra

Synopsis:

The Special Task Force (STF) has captured an infamous hawala operator in Maharashtra. Uttarakhand uncovers a cybercrime network operating across the country.

Dehradun:  The Uttarakhand Special Task Force (STF) cyber police station has apprehended another prominent hawala operator, suspected of aiding illegal transactions using bank accounts and SIM cards. This arrest signifies the third instance in a sequence of actions taken to suppress a widespread group of cybercriminals who are active throughout the country.

The apprehended suspect, Yusuf Mirza Khan, a resident of Wadala East, Mumbai, Maharashtra, was captured in Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, after an extensive pursuit covering a distance of 1800 kilometers.

The apprehension of Khan reveals a complex network of illicit money operations, with a remarkable 159 cases filed against the arrested members of the gang. The cases involve a wide range of 3272 cybercrimes that have been recorded nationwide, highlighting the scale of the operation.

The accused’s modus operandi entailed using digital networks, particularly WhatsApp, to entice naive victims into fraudulent investment schemes. Once, the defendant, using the pseudonym ‘Lisa’, lured a victim into investing in mutual funds through a suspicious website, making promises of profitable returns.

Upon being deceived, the victim willingly deposited an initial amount of ₹10,000. Subsequently, the perpetrator took advantage of the Indian banking system to perpetrate the fraud, resulting in a final loss of an astonishing ₹1 crore for the victim.

The complex operation also involved using fake SIM cards to hide illegal activities, which presented a difficult problem for law enforcement agents.

In partnership with the Indian Cybercrime Coordination Centre (I4C), officials performed a thorough examination of bank accounts and cellphone phones linked to the captured suspect. This investigation revealed an intricate web of criminal connections that extended over multiple states and union territories, including Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Delhi, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Karnataka, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, and Chandigarh, among others. Significantly, the culprit has been linked to 54 incidents exclusively within Uttarakhand.

Before Khan’s apprehension, the law enforcement officials had achieved substantial progress in dismantling the criminal gang, having made arrests in Kerala and Karnataka. Mahmeed Sharif, hailing from Bada Udipi, Karnataka, and Vaishyak Unikrishnan, from Koduganlur Pulut Thrissur, Kerala, were among the individuals who were apprehended prior to their arrest in relation to the extensive hawala network.

The apprehension of Yusuf Mirza Khan serves as evidence of the resolute determination of law enforcement agencies to combat cybercrime and protect the financial integrity of the nation. As investigations persist, authorities maintain a watchful and determined stance in their endeavors to eradicate such malicious actions and apprehend those responsible for them.

About The Author:

Yogesh Naager is a content marketer who specializes in the cybersecurity and B2B space.  Besides writing for the News4Hackers blog, he’s also written for brands including CollegeDunia, Utsav Fashion, and NASSCOM.  Naager entered the field of content in an unusual way.  He began his career as an insurance sales executive, where he developed an interest in simplifying difficult concepts.  He also combines this interest with a love of narrative, which makes him a good writer in the cybersecurity field.  In the bottom line, he frequently writes for Craw Security.

 

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