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Cyber crime a growing security threat

  Police say they are ill-equipped to deal with it


KATHMANDU: With more people having access to the Internet and social networking sites, cyber crime is emerging as a challenge for the police force.

SSP Devendra Subedi, in-charge of the Metropolitan Police Crime Division, informed that Cyber Cell at the division dealt with 46 cases of cyber crime in the past one year alone, pointing at the enormity of the threat. “We carried out 20 operations against serious cases of cyber crimes and solved all the reported cases,” he informed.

Crime related to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter accounted for the largest number of cases with 32 reported incidents followed by five email threat cases, four website disputes, one web SMS threat, and one each of illegal data access, ATM card duplication, obscene website operation and phishing.

On August 27, the police arrested Kirtan Pokharel (40), based in Nayabasti, Kumarigal, on the charge of organising a ‘sex party’ through Facebook. He created a fake event ‘Bunga Bunga’ on the social networking site and asked the interested to take part in it, saying they can entertain with girls aged 11 to 17 on an disclosed location.

SSP Subedi said though the police managed to bring most of the guilty to book, they have been finding it hard to curb cyber crime due to technological constraints. The Computer Directorate at the Nepal Police is working with the Cyber Cell at the MPCD and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s Office to fight cyber crime.

“We are getting complaints related to e-mail threats, Facebook deceptions, e-mail password hacking, phishing and SMS threats, among others. Despite this, we think many cases go unreported ,” he said.

Most of the victims of cyber crime are women. Investigators say they are ill-equipped to investigate cyber crime. “It is not possible to bring the guilty to book until and unless a victim categorically identifies the suspects in a complaint,” an investigator lamented.

Take the case of Tapta Kumar Shrestha (37) of Teku, Kathmandu. He posted indecent photos of his ‘estranged girlfriend’ on Facebook by creating a fake account. Police arrested him later and charged him with cyber crime.

The Central Investigation Bureau said, “Some create fake sites, which look similar to original ones and try to get the people’s user names, passwords and account numbers.” It cautioned all concerned to be vigilant against the hackers.

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