Navi Mumbai Police likely to get separate cyber cell hall

Mumbai: Considering the ever increasing rate of cyber crimes registered, the Navi Mumbai Police are in the process of setting up a separate cyber cell in a large hall, where a bunch of officers, equipped with cyber-crime fighting training, will work under one roof. This move was long overdue as in the absence of trained officials, police had to pay a substantial amount to the cyber experts to assist in cyber related cases.

"At present, Navi Mumbai Police have seven police officers and two in-house experts to deal with cybercrime cases, which is proving to be inadequate. In such a situation, we are largely dependent on the expertise that we acquire on pay-per-case basis. This, however, turns out to be very expensive, which is why the idea of a separate cyber cell in a large hall was initially pitched,” said Navi Mumbai Commissioner of Police Sanjay Kumar.

In a recently released data, it was revealed that there has been a 300 per cent increase in cases of cyber crime from last year, taking 120 cases recorded in 2018 to 417 last year. However, while detection in 2018 was 100 per cent, in 2019 over 63 cases were yet to be detected. CP Kumar had said, most number of cyber crimes were committed through befriending strangers on social media, where victims lost Rs 85.94 lakh, followed by dating/matrimonial fraud, where scamsters duped victims of Rs 79.19 lakh.

Earlier, the lack of manpower and in-house expertise in cyber crime had led them to outsource the experts, for which they were shelling out Rs 1,500 per day, said a senior police official upon requesting confidentiality. A selected batch of policemen were then trained to tackle cyber crime cases, equipping them to work in separate cyber cells in each police station, like their Mumbai counterparts, said a senior police official.

One of the major cyber crimes registered by Navi Mumbai police in 2018 was the ransomware attack on a hospital, wherein the computer systems of Mahatma Gandhi Mission Hospital were hacked and the attackers had sought ransom in Bitcoins. The cyber attack on the computer systems had come to light when the hospital administrators found the systems locked, with an encrypted message by unidentified attackers demanding ransom in Bitcoins to unlock it. The year 2019, however, saw a change of modus operandi, where the scamsters used dating/matrimonial sites to defraud and cheat victims on the pretext of an online friendships.

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