The multi-agency operation was triggered after initial inputs were shared by the Military Intelligence (MI) unit of the Southern Army Command based in Pune, they said.
A “notorious” cyber criminal and alleged kingpin in the case, Sanjeev Kumar (30), was first apprehended by the police from Bharatpur in Rajasthan and following his interrogation by joint teams of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan Police along with the MI.
Subsequently, raids were carried out in Nuh and Deeg in Kaithal districts of Haryana and nine people, accused of duping innocent civilians, by posing as Army personnel, were apprehended, they said.
The alleged criminal module spotted their victims through online house renting and other websites and gained their trust by using morphed identity documents of a serving Army personnel in the name of Deepak Bajrang Pawar, an official said.
The module adopted an “efficient method” of duping where they made a notional payment of a few rupees to verify the transaction for the settled deal of renting a property or buying some goods, primarily a second-hand vehicle, the official said.
They then mentioned some technical issues and requested victims to share OTPs or scan QR codes which ended in the reverse transfer of funds from the victim’s accounts, he said.
Investigators found the cybercriminals were operating from along the border junction of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan and they used multiple SIM cards, mobile phones and bank accounts.
Several “fabricated” military identity cards, defence canteen cards, PAN numbers, Aadhaar cards, over three dozen mobiles, 206 SIM cards and seven laptops were recovered by the police agencies during this operation.
The gang and the kingpin had police cases registered against them in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharastra and some other states.
“As per the cybercrime complaint portal, he (Sanjeev Kumar) has duped more than 60 innocent individuals,” the official said.