The Indian Express | 5 days ago | 05-08-2022 | 02:45 pm
A 43-year-old man who works in the health care services in the private sector fell prey to a sextortion cyber-crime where a gang of cyber-fraudsters, including one who dressed up as a police officer on a video call, extorted Rs 7.53 lakh from him. An FIR was registered by the Nirmal Nagar police station in Khar (east), Mumbai Wednesday.The number of sextortion cases in Mumbai has seen a significant rise this year compared to last year with the number of such cases increasing from 54 FIRs being registered in the entire last year to 47 FIRs being registered in the first six months this year.In the latest case, the 43-year-old man told the police that he had received a friend request from a woman named Ankita Sharma on his Facebook profile on July 14.He accepted the friend request and the two started chatting on Facebook messenger. The woman then made a video call and started stripping. The man cut the call after which she asked for his mobile number. He shared the number and she video-called him on Whatsapp and again stripped herself and asked him to show his face.He then blocked her on WhatsApp and Facebook. Next day, he received a message on WhatsApp where the fraudster shared his video call recording and demanded Rs 15,000, failing which the same would be uploaded on social media platforms. The man paid the money but the fraudster asked for another Rs 15,000. He then blocked the fraudster.Next day, the victim got a call from another person posing as a police officer from Delhi cyber police. In a video call with the victim, the man, dressed up as a police officer with a police department’s symbol in the background, told the victim that his obscene video is on YouTube and the cyber department is getting several complaints regarding it.The fraudster gave the man the number of a person from YouTube to delete the video. When the victim contacted the number, another person posing as an executive from YouTube demanded a few lakh rupees to delete the video, to which he obliged.Next day, the fraudster posing as police officer called back and said the woman Ankita Sharma has committed suicide and he has been made accused in the case. He demanded Rs 5 lakh to settle the matter. The victim ended up paying Rs 7.53 lakh but the scamsters kept demanding more, after which he decided to approach the police.
The Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government’s ministerial council expansion on Tuesday — both the inclusions and an exclusion — indicates the BJP and rebel Shiv Sena group’s plans to take on the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena in its strongholds Mumbai and Aurangabad in the coming civic elections.A senior BJP functionary said the party’s focus was now on the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) election and on civic bodies in Sena strongholds such as Aurangabad, Thane, and Kalyan-Dombivli. With this in mind, the ruling coalition appointed leaders to the expanded council of ministers.Though many political observers were left surprised by the non-inclusion of former minister and Bandra (West) MLA Ashish Shelar, party insiders said it was part of the strategy to deploy his services for the coming BMC polls. In 2017, Shelar was the president of the BJP’s Mumbai unit. Under his leadership, the party put in a stellar performance by winning 82 of the 227 wards in the BMC, just two behind the Shiv Sena, its ally at the time. The Shiv Sena has been in power in the civic body since winning it for the first time in 1985. To keep the Sena happy back then, the BJP allowed its ally to keep control of the BMC and instead maintained greater control of the state government.After the Sena severed its ties with the BJP and joined with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, Shelar positioned himself as a staunch anti-Thackeray leader and worked to corner the Sena over alleged financial irregularities in the BMC and its poor functioning. BJP functionaries said that the party’s central leadership, along with state leaders, had prepared a blueprint to take on the Sena in the next BMC polls and win more than 134 wards in the country’s richest civic body.The BJP has also eyes on the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation, which has been a Sena stronghold apart from the BMC and the Thane civic body. In the Cabinet, at least three new ministers are from the city. They are Atul Save (BJP), Abdul Sattar (Shinde group) and Sandipan Bhumare (Shinde faction). In Thane, which is the CM’s bastion, the ruling coalition expects to sail through as a majority of incumbent corporators have switched loyalties to the Shinde faction. The BJP, to consolidate its own base in the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation, has given a ministerial berth to Ravindra Chavan from Dombivli.With the induction of leaders such as Girish Mahajan, Gulabrao Patil, and Dadasaheb Bhuse into the ministerial council, the BJP is looking to secure its position in north Maharashtra where the NCP has been trying to make deeper inroads. The BJP expects the appointments to boost its efforts to wrest control of the Jalgaon civic body from the Shiv Sena and retain the Nashik Municipal Corporation.
Tata Power Wednesday announced it will be collaborating with real estate developer JP Infra Mumbai Pvt. Ltd for the installation of over 60 electric vehicle (EV) charging points all over JP Infra’s projects in Mumbai. Backed by the Maharashtra government, the initiative will enable end-to-end EV charging solutions.Providing a 24×7 charging provision, residents owning an EV will be able to monitor remote vehicle charging as well as have access to e-payment options via services laid out on the ‘Tata Power EZ Charge’ mobile app.A Tata Power’s spokesperson said, “We are spearheading the EV charging revolution in the country and making sustainable mobility attainable for lakhs of EV owners. We are scaling up our EV charging infrastructure in the state to contribute to the Maharashtra Govt’s aim of a rapid transition to green mobility. The collaboration with JP infra will provide a seamless charging experience to its residents and accelerate the adoption of EV vehicles.”Tata Power had previously tied-up with the National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) of Maharashtra to install up to 5,000 EV charging stations in the state.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday transferred to Delhi all the FIRs registered against former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma over her remarks on Prophet Muhammed and clubbed them with the one registered in the national capital.They will now be investigated by Delhi Police’s Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) unit, which is investigating the Delhi case. The court also gave Sharma protection from arrest till the investigation is completed in the matter.“Since this court has already taken cognisance of a serious threat to the life and liberty of the petitioner, and specific instances in relation thereto have be been cited in our previous order dated July 19, 2022, besides those contained the additional affidavit filed by the petitioner today, we direct that all the FIRs…be transferred and clubbed for the purpose of investigation by Delhi Police,” a bench of Justices Surya Kant and J B Pardiwala ordered.In its order dated July 19, the court had already granted Sharma protection from arrest, but she pointed out in a fresh application that more FIRs were registered against her. Granting the relief, the court added that Delhi Police should ensure that the first FIR, registered in Maharashtra, and the one registered by the IFSO unit are investigated together by clubbing the other FIRs with them.Counsel for the West Bengal government requested the apex court to set up a special investigation team to inquire into the matter, but the court said, “Since IFSO of Delhi Police appears to be a specialised agency, it shall be appreciated if all the FIRs are investigated by the said unit”. “The IFSO as a specialised investigating agency shall be at liberty to collect…any information any if so required for the purpose of reaching to a logical conclusion,” it added.The bench also rejected West Bengal’s request that the investigation be monitored by the court.The court said its directions “shall also extend to any other FIR/complaint which may be registered/entertained against the petitioner…in respect to the same subject matter…and in that event, the investigation of the FIR or complaint to be registered in future shall also stand transferred to the IFSO unit of Delhi Police for the purpose of investigation”.Though Sharma had requested the FIRs to be quashed, the apex court said she could approach the Delhi High Court for the purpose.On July 1, while refusing to entertain her plea to club the FIRs registered against her in different states with the one in Delhi, the same Supreme Court bench came down heavily on the suspended BJP spokesperson, saying she had a “loose tongue” and was “single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country”, including the murder of a tailor in Udaipur for allegedly sharing her remarks.
MUMBAI: MSEDCL managing director Vijay Singhal on Wednesday announced setting up of ten more special squads for power theft detection across the state. He informed the media that in just three months, from April to June, MSEDCL squads had detected a huge number of power thefts to the tune of Rs 131 crore. "Our existing 63 special squads detected 2,625 cases across Maharashtra, including a significant number in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai. We came across 239 million units of power thefts and during the prosecution, we recovered penalties to the tune of Rs 54 crore," he said. He, however, took a review meeting with senior officials recently and directed them to step up vigilance and nab those involved in power pilferage. "It will help us reduce our electricity distribution losses further and this in turn can improve the financial condition of the state power discom," he said. Statistics made available to the media on Wednesday showed that in 2019-20, 9250 cases of power theft worth Rs 98 crore were detected. In comparison, in 2020-21, 7169 cases and Rs 87 crore worth power theft were detected and in 2021-22, 13,370 cases were detected for electricity pilferage worth Rs 264 crore. "We appeal to citizens to get meters installed and replace those which are defective," Singhal added.
The Pune police on Tuesday arrested a 60-year-old retired defence employee wanted in Punjab for allegedly posing as an Army colonel and cheating youths after promising them Army jobs.The action by Unit 4 of the Pune city crime branch was based on an input given by the Army’s Military Intelligence, said police officials. The suspect, identified as Sanjay Raghunath Sawant, had worked as a tradesman with a defence formation at Dehu Road in Pune, Maharashtra, in the past and retired two years ago. He lives in the Pimple Gurav area and drives an autorickshaw to earn a living, they added.The Pathankot police in Punjab are investigating a 2021 case in which several Army job aspirants were cheated out of large sums of money by a man posing as a colonel.According to crime branch officials, after they received information from the Military Intelligence that the suspect was in Pune, a team led by inspector Jayant Rajurkar from Unit 4 launched an inquiry. The officials said it came to light that the suspect had worked as a tradesman–a civilian defence employee– at a defence unit in Dehu Road and drove an autorickshaw now. In the course of the investigation, police checked around 200 autorickshaws in the area and finally got leads on Sawant.In a joint action with the Pathankot police and Military Intelligence sleuths, the Pune police arrested Sawant. He has been handed over to the Pathankot police for further investigation. In 2021, Sawant is alleged to have spent some time in the Pathankot area after his retirement and cheated the Army job aspirants out of money.