Kadapa police bust money-swindling fingerprint cloning gang

ANANTAPUR: The Cybercrime Unit of YSR district has busted a UP-based gang that cloned the fingerprints of people and withdrew money from their accounts through the Aadhar-Enabled Payment System (AEPS).

Addressing media on Friday, superintendent of police K.K.N. Anburajan said the issue came to light after a victim S. Rajasekhar Reddy from Chinna Chowk in Kadapa lodged a complaint stating that ₹89,550 had been withdrawn from his bank account without his knowledge. The complainant maintained that he had never shared any OTPs or received any phishing calls or clicked any links.

The SP said they took up an investigation and arrested key accused Akshay Yadav of Azamgarh and Vikas of Gorakhpur district in Uttar Pradesh. They are members of the gang led by mastermind Sheshnath Viswakarma, who had recently been arrested by Kadapa police.

The gang members collected Aadhaar numbers, data and fingerprints of over one lakh people of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. They scanned data, cloned fingerprints on butter paper using a polymer sheet and enhanced their quality through photoshop.

The accused have been involved in 128 cases, including 117 in Telangana, two in Uttarakhand, three in Jharkhand and one each in Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, and Haryana.

"We have so far identified three HDFC bank accounts through which financial transactions have been done to cheat 440 victims across India," Anburajan said.

The accused are registered as Customer Service Points (CSPs) for e-governance and banking services in Uttar Pradesh. They had a biometric machine, rubber thumb impression printer, polymer liquid, temperature modulator, and other chemicals through which they used to make fingerprint clones. They got access to the bank accounts of people by placing cloned fingerprints in a biometric scanner device. They thus siphoned off money from the victims' bank accounts to their HDFC bank accounts.

The SP appreciated the team for arresting cybercriminals under the supervision of additional SP Tushar Dudi, Faction Zone DSP G. Chenchu Babu and Chinna Chowk CI Sriram Srinivas.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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