They are not well educated and worked as auto or truck drivers. But their ingeniousness knew no bounds. Even while working as auto an truck drivers, the quartet managed to create fake Facebook accounts of nearly 350 policemen in the country and began soliciting hand loans in the name of their victim police officers.

But their cyber escapades could not be carried on for long, as one of their victims, AV Ranganath, Nalgonda district Superintendent of Police, managed to get the better of them and got the four gangsters, hailing from Rajasthan, arrested after a painstaking investigation. Police team also seized Rs 5 lakh in cash, eight mobile phones, 30 SIM cards and fake aadhaar cards and other documents from their possession. Preliminary investigations revealed that the four gangsters created fake accounts of as many as 81 police officers of Telangana. In all they created fake FB accounts of 350 police officers, it was said.

The arrested were: Mustaqueem, Saddam Khan, Shaeed and a juvenile of Kethawada in Bharathpur district of Rajasthan. The district police chief formed a special team to nab them after these allged cyber criminals created fake Facebook accounts on his name and other district police officers and began soliciting handloans through PayTM.

Ranganath said they were not well educated but they were knowledgeable enough to take up cyber crimes. The investigators were surprised to know that a minor boy and the other three were working as drivers of auto rickshaws and trucks. Earlier they dabbled with robberies and cheating through an online OLX platform promising to sell old army vehicles.

Later they adopted the latest modus operandi of creating fake FB accounts. They confessed to creating fake accounts of 350 police officers of Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. They would download photos of their victims from social media and create the facebook accounts, send friend requests and then start sending messages asking for hand loans.

They took to Facebook after sales through OLX dipped due to pandemic. They managed to get SIM cards and bank accounts of persons in different states. Taking advantage of money requirement of some people, the gang members purchased Aadhar cards and other ID proof documents from them by paying Rs 3,000 to each one. Ranganath appealed to people to be alert about cyber crimes.

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