HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: With growing cases of online and SMS frauds, the Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police has put cyber crime investigation on its top priority list.
As more people are gaining access to Internet and mobile phones, cyber crime is emerging as a challenge for the law enforcement agency, officials said.
According to the Central Investigation Bureau, it dealt with 19 major cases of cyber crime in the fiscal year 2012/13 compared to nine the previous year.
In 2012/13, crimes related to social networking site Facebook accounted for the largest number of cases with 10 reported incidents, followed by illegal data access and website hacking (two each), fake lottery, phishing, email fraud, email threat and ATM fraud (one each).
On June 14, the Central Investigation Bureau rounded up four persons, including two foreign nationals, for operating a fraud racket via SMS.
The arrested were identified as Ikechukwu John Dike, 22, of Nigeria, Ernest P Kamara, 25, of Sierra Leone and Samjhana Pariyar, 27, of Shankhupatichaur-5, Kavre.
The Nigerian and Sierra Leonean were running the SMS scam under the cover of football players in Kathmandu, while, Pariyar as a tourist guide.
They were found to be defrauding unsuspecting people via web SMS saying ‘the mobile phone numbers had won cash prize worth tens of millions of US dollars’.
They were caught while luring the alleged ‘winners’ to send money ‘in consideration of legal fee, processing charge, country tax and insurance charge’ to fulfil legal procedures to claim the prize.
On April 7, police held three persons on charges of banking crimes after they were found to be withdrawing money from various banks through ATM cards by stealing identity of genuine depositors.
With increased Internet use, particularly for the purpose of e-commerce — business agreement, paying and receiving money through Internet — some people have lodged complaint at the Central Investigation Bureau after their online transactions were hacked by phishing.
Officials have warned all Internet users to be vigilant against ‘counterfeit’ login pages designed in the guise of various Nepal-based banks and financial institutions.
Phishing is an attempt to acquire information such as user name, password and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.
Though police managed to bring most of the guilty to book, they said they were having a tough time to curb cyber crime as they face technological constraints.