• otv
Vikash Sharma

The Odisha CID Crime Branch (CB) on Wednesday claimed to have obtained credible information regarding the involvement of the ‘Nigerian gang’ behind the hacking of the WhatsApp account belonging to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Odisha Computer Application Centre (OCAC) Manoj Kumar Patnaik.

It is the same gang whose mastermind Chimelum Emmanuel Aniwetalu alias Maurice, was arrested by Delhi Police on November 1, police claimed.

ADG, Crime Branch, Sanjeeb Panda said that one of Maurice’s close henchmen is suspected to be behind the hacking of the WhatsApp account belonging to the OCAC CEO Manoj Patnaik. The hacker is currently holed up in Bengaluru, Panda said.

“The Delhi Police had arrested the syndicate’s mastermind earlier this month. The associate of the mastermind is now in Bengaluru and were in touch with Delhi Police to get his whereabouts,” said Panda.

According to Panda, a Crime Branch team will soon be leaving for Bengaluru to carry out further investigation into the case. As the crime in Odisha took place in the aftermath of the arrest of the mastermind of the gang by the Delhi Police, we suspect it had been perpetrated by one of his close associates who we are looking out for, he said.

“We have got credible information on the mastermind’s associate. As the Delhi Police is already investigating similar cases at present, we hope to get more information about the modus operandi of such criminals from the investigators there. It will help us to carry out further investigation into the case with us at present,” Panda added.

The online fraudsters were successful in swindling around Rs 7 lakh by sending phishing messages to contacts after hacking the WhatsApp account of Patnaik, who is also the Additional Secretary of the State Electronics And Information Technology (E&IT) Department.

Senior police officials said that the criminals had created an application with malware links which they would send to their potential targets.  Once these links were opened, all contacts and call log data from a victim’s mobile would be transferred to the cyber criminals.

Other Stories