The Haryana Police on Monday said it has busted a gang whose members allegedly used to siphon off money from bank accouts of people using the Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS) by cloning the fingerprints.
“Five members of the gang including a woman who were involved in online fraud worth crores of rupees were arrested by conducting raids at different locations in Delhi and Palwal on Monday,” a Haryana Police spokesperson said in a statement issued.
He said the police have also recovered one biometric machine, 11 debit cards of different banks, 270 SIM cards of different operators, fingerprint rubber stamp machine, 5 bottles rubber gel photo polymer, 1 laptop, printer, one lamination machine, 2078 copies of registries (out of which 10 copies used in online fraud) 220 fingerprint clone, 68 blank Aadhaar cards, 21 PAN cards, 64 passport size photographs, 5 Aadhaar cards, 1 pen drive etc.
He said a special team was formed after complaints were reported in Palwal district from some people about money being withdrawn without they having made any transactions. Police have registered 43 cases of online fraud between May 24 and June 2, 2021, he said in a statement.
The spokesperson said fraudsters made attempts to get the documents used for fraud from the staff of registry offices.
“When they did not succeed in doing so, the scammers contacted a private person who did the binding of registry documents in Palwal tehsil and obtained copies of documents of registry done at a high cost.
“Then they cloned the fingerprints of sellers and purchasers and carried out illegal transactions through biometric devices (using various prepaid wallets)… they used to withdraw amounts up to Rs 10,000 using fingerprint clones and committed online fraud worth crores of rupees,” he said.
Those arrested were identified as Rohit (33), a resident of Ghaziabad in UP, Chitranjan (28) of Bihar, Amir Hussain (27) from Bihar, Kiran (28) of Bihar presently living at Najafgarh, Delhi and Tularam (40) of village Khatela in Haryana’s Palwal.
Preliminary probe and disclosure statement revealed that the gang is involved in all 43 cases registered.
“We are trying to gather more information about the involvement of others and how many innocent people were cheated by the gang members through online fraud,” said senior police official, Palwal, Deepak Gahlawat.
AEPS is an NPCI-led model which allows online interoperable financial inclusion transactions at PoS (Micro ATM) through the business correspondent of any bank using the Aadhaar authentication.
The only inputs required for a customer to do a transaction under the AEPS mode are IIN (identification of the customer’s bank), Aadhaar number and fingerprint.