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As online frauds rise, Maha govt plans to set up cyber intelligence unit

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Mumbai, Aug 22: In view of rising online frauds, the Maharashtra government will establish a cyber intelligence unit, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Monday.

Responding to a query in the Maharashtra Legislative Council, Fadnavis said cyber crimes have gone up, especially after the coronavirus pandemic, as many people preferred the online mode for financial transactions.

Maharasthra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis

“We track websites and social media, but a cyber intelligence unit is important because online fraud is rising. I want to assure you that the government will establish a cyber intelligence unit,” said Fadnavis, who also handles the Home department.

He said, many times, cyber fraudsters operate from different states and countries. He cited an example of Chinese loan apps, some of which are operated from Nepal. "Many call centres of these Chinese loan apps operate from Nepal.

The state police have contacted the Nepalese authorities," the deputy chief minister said. Fadnavis said the state cyber unit has prepared a 'Cyber Watch' module which has tracked such loan applications and action has been taken.

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“We will be making efforts to strengthen the cyber unit,” he said, adding that the training of manpower and outsourcing of technology will be done. Satej Patil, former Minister of State for Home, said 18 per cent of cyber crimes in India take place in Maharashtra.

However, the post of the Inspector General of Police of Cyber Crime, the apex officer of the state's cyber unit, is considered a “side-posting, Patil said. Fadnavis said it was seen that structuring at the lower level has not happened in the cyber crime department. The government will work on this aspect, he added.

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