Home / News / India /  Maharashtra govt to set up cyber intelligence unit: Dy CM Devendra Fadnavis on rising online frauds

Amid rising online fraud cases, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Monday that the government will establish a cyber intelligence unit. While responding to a query in the Maharashtra Legislative Council, the deputy chief minister said cyber crimes have gone up, especially after the coronavirus pandemic, as many people preferred the online mode for financial transactions, as per news agency PTI report.

“We track websites and social media, but a cyber intelligence unit is important because online fraud is rising. I want to assure you that the government will establish a cyber intelligence unit," said Devendra Fadnavis, who also handles the Home department. 

The deputy chief minister further informed that several times, cyber fraudsters operate from different states and countries, while citing an example of Chinese loan apps, some of which are operated from Nepal. "Many call centres of these Chinese loan apps operate from Nepal. The state police have contacted the Nepalese authorities," he noted. 

The deputy chief minister said that the Maharashtra cyber unit has prepared a 'Cyber Watch' module which has tracked such loan applications and action has been taken. “We will be making efforts to strengthen the cyber unit," he said, adding that the training of manpower and outsourcing of technology will be done. 

Interestingly, Satej Patil, former Maharashtra Minister for Home, said 18% of cyber crimes in India take place in Maharashtra. However, the post of the Inspector General of Police of Cyber Crime, the apex officer of the state's cyber unit, is considered a “side-posting, Patil said. Fadnavis said it was seen that structuring at the lower level has not happened in the cyber crime department, adding that the government will work on this aspect, according to PTI report. 

Meanwhile, in another development, cybercriminals allegedly hacked the bank account of a retired school teacher in Annamayya via WhatsApp link and stole 21 lakh. According to police, Varalakshi, a resident of Reddeppanaidu Colony in Madanapalle town of Annamayya district, received a WhatsApp message from an unknown number. There was a link in the WhatsApp message and after clicking the link, money was debited from her bank account, news agency ANI report said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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