Mumbai Police
Mumbai Police
Photo: BL Soni

To tackle the increasing number of cyber fraud cases<, the city police had started five new regional cyber police stations in January this year. Though the performances of each of these police stations is better than the local police stations, they lack infrastructure and funds that are limiting their performance, complained the staff working there.

These police stations were inaugurated on January 26, one each in five regions to solve cases involving fraud amount between ₹2 lakh - ₹50 lakh. The number of cases referred to these police stations is considerable, but the infrastructure provided to them is not optimal, said officials.

Most of these police stations don't have a vehicle of their own, making it difficult for them to travel for investigation. Most of the cyber police stations have been assigned a vehicle from the local police station to perform its operations.

Universal Forensic Extraction Device (UFED) machines are said to be the heart of cyber investigations, as they create a mirror image of seized devices. After devices are seized they are sent to forensic laboratory and the investigation officer relies on the mirror image of the device for further investigations. The UFED machines provided to the them are not updated, said another officer.

For investigation police require to go outdoors where funds are needed for lodging, travelling and food. For outdoors, each police station has been assigned funds, whenever they go out for assignments, most of the times they have been given an advance amount by their seniors. In the case of regional cyber police stations, as they are new, their fund release procedure is not that smooth, said an officer on the request of anonymity.

"We have to consider that all these police stations have been built with the help of corporate social responsibility funds. We already have a full-fledged cyber police station at BKC under a deputy commissioner of police and these regional cyber police stations are for mid-range cases and not for complicated cases. Whatever resources they have been provided are adequate, their performance is good and they have solved many good cases," said Vishwas Nangare Patil, joint commissioner of police (Law and Order).

"We are yet to receive any such complaints, but if they are genuine we will address them," he added.

Since their inception these cyber police stations have solved over 25 cyber cases of 157 they have registered so far and arrested over 30 people. They have also recovered ₹ 48 lakh of the total fraud amount of ₹ 12.15 crore.

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