Vikash Sharma

The Special Task Force (STF) has arrested three persons on the charges of selling and sharing OTP with some criminals and anti-national elements. The accused have been identified as Pathanisamant Lenka, Saroj Kumar Nayak, and Soumya Pattanaik. One of the accused is an ITI teacher, sources said.

Senior STF officials said the accused were fraudulently procuring huge numbers of SIM cards in the name of others and used them to sell the OTPs (linked/generated using the SIMs) to various clients including some Pakistani Intelligence Operatives (PIO)/ ISI agents in Pakistan as well as in India.

In return, they were paid by some Pakistani agents based in India. Moreover, they were in touch with a female PIO agent, who was arrested in an Official Secrets Act/ Honey-Trap case in Rajasthan last year, the STF officials said.

What Is The Scam All About

The OTPs were used to create various accounts/ Channels on social media like Whatsapp, Telegram, Facebook, and Instagram and also on online shopping sites like Amazon, Flipkart, etc. These are also used in opening email accounts. Most thought that these accounts are owned by an Indian but actually were being operated from Pakistan.

What STF Officials Say

These social media platforms will then be used in various kinds of Anti-India activities like Spying, communication with terrorists, radicalization, running anti-India propaganda, fuelling anti-India/ divisive sentiments on social media, sextortion, Honey-trapping, etc.

As these accounts are registered/linked to Indian mobile numbers, people find them trustworthy. The accounts opened on online shopping platforms are also used to supply items to terrorists, anti-India elements, etc.

Seizures Made

19 costly mobile phones (Including Apple mobile), 47 SIM cards, 61 ATM cards, and 23 SIM covers