Initial probe has found the three were aware that they were selling the OTPs to Pakistani intelligence operatives.
Published: 16th May 2023 12:35 PM | Last Updated: 16th May 2023 12:35 PM | A+A A-
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BHUBANESWAR: The three persons arrested by the Special Task Force (STF) of Odisha Crime Branch for fraudulently procuring pre-activated SIM cards and selling the one-time passwords (OTPs) to Pakistani agents, who used them to create social media accounts and email ids for anti-India activities, had full knowledge of the latter’s nationality, investigation has revealed.
Sources in the STF on Monday said, the accused Pathanisamant Lenka (35), Saroj Kumar Nayak (26) and Soumya Pattanaik (19) in their greed for making quick money had been selling OTPs and mule bank accounts to cyber frauds and foreign nationals for at least one year. Initial probe has found the three were aware that they were selling the OTPs to Pakistani intelligence operatives.
However, a detailed investigation is on to ascertain whether the trio had the knowledge that the OTPs were being used to create fake social media accounts to carry out anti-India activities and further action will be taken accordingly, STF IG Jai Narayan Pankaj said.
Apart from links with the woman ISI agent, who was arrested in a honey trap case registered in Rajasthan last year, their dealings with another Pak operative has come to the fore. Lenka, a teacher with a private industrial training institute, had gone into hiding after a suspected ISI agent Guddu Kumar was arrested by West Bengal police in December last year.
He had fled to Hyderabad and stayed under the radar for two months before returning to his native Itamati in Nayagarh district. He was then put under STF surveillance for his alleged links with Kumar, the senior officer said.Pankaj said, the STF is coordinating with West Bengal police and the central agencies for getting to the roots of the racket after arresting Lenka, Nayak and Pattanaik on Sunday.
The agency has written to National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) requesting to share the details of the bank accounts in which the three accused received money through unified payments interface (UPI) system. “UPI transactions have been found in the mobile phones seized from the three. Once we receive information from NPCI, we will contact the banks to collect the details about the accounts from where the accused received the money,” Pankaj said.
Meanwhile, STF officers are collecting more information related to the sensitive case and subsequently will request the court to grant the police remand of Lenka, Nayak and Pattanaik.
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