Vikash Sharma

The Special Task Force (STF) of Odisha Police has arrested one more inter-state accused in the mule bank accounts racket. The arrested accused has been identified as Sourav Maity (30) of Rampura area under West Medinipur in West Bengal. Maity was arrested on January 15 and has been brought to Bhubaneswar on a transit remand.

The mule bank accounts racket mainly operates in the tri-junction area of Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal. The racket is active in the districts of Balasore, Mayurbhanj, East Midnapore, West Midnapore, East Sighbhoom, West Singhbhoom and Saraikela. Earlier, the STF had arrested four persons - Sk Hapizul, Sk Jahangir, Sk Jamiruddin and Samim Islam.

The STF officials informed that mule bank accounts racket was being operated by Sk Jamiruddin of West Medinipur. He had employed around 10-15 people to open bank accounts and was paying them Rs 15000 per month.

How the Racket Worked

The persons recruited by Sk Jamiruddin visited various interior areas of these districts and targeted poor villagers/ tribals and lured them to open bank accounts. The villagers were generally offered Rs 2000 per account for giving their documents and opening the bank accounts. However, the mobile numbers linked with bank accounts were provided by gang members.

Use of these mule bank accounts

According to STF, the gang then used to sell these bank accounts along with the connected mobile numbers to various Cyber, cyber-financial, sextortion scammers and other criminals based in Kolkata and other parts of India.

The gang also used social media platforms like secret WhatsApp groups, Facebook pages, and Telegram channels to sell the mule bank accounts. They sold mule bank accounts at the rate of Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 per account. The gang used to abandon the bank accounts once it reached a transaction of Rs 1 lakh.