Cyber crime incidents on rise

Kathmandu, February 20

Cyber crime has been tough nut to crack for police, posing a serious threat to peoples’ personal security, dignity and confidentiality.

With greater access to the internet and other technologies, misuse of social networking sites, especially Facebook, has not only posed a threat for the younger generation but also has become a tool for criminals.

On July 8, the Metropolitan Police Crime Division arrested Rahul Balmiki (23) of Nepalgunj, who had hacked Facebook accounts of more than 40 women and posted obscene images and sent lewd messages to blackmail the victims. Balmiki, 23, of Nepalgunj-12, Banke, who was arrested in his home district, was brought to Kathmandu for further investigation.

On January 13, the Metropolitan Police Crime Division apprehended two persons for allegedly using fake social media accounts with female names to befriend, lure and blackmail businesspersons in Kathmandu.

Bikram Gyawali, 23, of Dailekh, and Kevin KC, 22, from Dhapasi, Kathmandu were held by the Metropolitan Police Crime Division from the premises of Bhatbhateni Supermarket in Maharajgunj.

They had managed to cheat Roshan Gupta of India, currently operating a fancy store at Mahabouddha, of Rs 55,000.

The duo opened a fake Facebook account under the name of ‘Subashna Gautam’ with a girl’s picture as a honey-trap and sent a friend request to Gupta.

After Gupta ‘fell in love’ with the ‘girl’, Gyawali and KC approached Gupta masquerading as the girl’s brothers and demanded Rs 55,000 from him. They also threatened to file a case against him if he did not pay the amount demanded.

According to the Metropolitan Police Crime Division, which handles cases of cyber crime, bringing the guilty to book is next to impossible for the police unless a victim categorically identifies the suspect.

A data maintained by the MPCD said police have handled as many as 58 cases of cyber in the fiscal year 2012-13 followed by 90 in 2013-14 and 309 in 2015-16.

It has also dealt with 333 cases so far this fiscal year. Crimes related to social networking sites accounted for the largest number of cyber crime cases.

Any person involved in cyber crime is liable to Rs 100,000 in fine or five years in jail or both under Article 47 of the Electronic Transaction Act, 2008.