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Fake PMO website busted, mastermind arrested in Kolkata

A 43-year-old man has been arrested by Delhi Police for allegedly being the mastermind behind a fake website of the Prime Minister’s Office as sleuths claimed to have busted a racket operating fake government web portals.

The Crime Branch of Delhi Police arrested Sudipta Chatterjee, who was managing the website Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Yojna, from Kolkata and brought him to Delhi on transit remand.

Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav on Sunday said that the fake website was created to cheat unsuspecting individuals of their money on the pretext of providing them with governmental loans for different projects and schemes. Police said the racketeers had their base in Howrah in West Bengal and used an active call centre with 17 callers.

Police claimed to have recovered “incriminating material”, including 20 mobile phones, hard disk, internet dongles, cheques related to 43 accounts, 16 fake government office rubber stamps and fake project reports from the accused.

Police said a team was constituted on the basis of information that there was a fake website – Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Yojana – offering loans with the aim of cheating people. Crime Branch officials browsed the Internet and, on the basis of the URL, www.pmay-gov.in, obtained the details of the server. The website was hosted on a server located in the US, confirming that it was not hosted by the Government of India.

A raid was conducted with the help of local police in Howrah, leading to Chatterjee’s arrest. The accused had also created other domains with the IDs bharat-sarkar.in, govindia.in, CGTMSE-govt.in, CGTMSE-gov.in and created fake government emails as well.

During interrogation, Chatterjee told police that using his experience of e-commerce, he had decided to create fake websites to cheat individuals on the pretext of providing them with government loans.

He had employed 17 telecallers to contact prospective clients, police said.

Chatterjee would also obtain signed cheques, ATM cards and secret PIN numbers of the accounts before withdrawing the security amount from those who had applied for a loan, police said, adding that further inquiries are on in the case.


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