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Facebook-related crimes on rise: Police

KATHMANDU: Cyber crimes arising from the misuse of social networking sites like Facebook are on the rise, police said Monday. Police investigation shows that cases of phising, using fake Facebook accounts, email thieving, data hacking and blackmailing have increased.

Lately, the police arrested two Nepali Facebook defrauders – a male and a female – on alleged charges of cheating people through Facebook by promising valuable gift items.

Fraudsters – Anilnath Boki Shrestha of Sundhara, Lalipur district and Anita Maharjan of Banasthali, Kathmandu – were arrested for illegally taking money from innocent people.

According to the police, Shrestha and Maharjan, posing themselves as gentlemen, promised the people valuable gifts on condition that they first deposited a small amount in fees in the said bank accounts to obtain the gifts.

Nearly half a dozen victims had deposited their money in the bank accounts of the fraudsters after becoming a friend on Facebook.

Superintendent of Police (SP) Meera Chaudhari of the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) said that the Facebook defrauders had created fake Facebook identities.

SP Chaudhari said that Shrestha was arrested from Thamel and Maharjan from her own home at Banasthali on Saturday.

The swindlers had collected Rs. 500,000 from the victims, said the police.

According to police statistics, over three to four years, the number of cyber crimes stood at 19 in 2013, which reached more than 130 by the end of 2016.

There were 39 cyber crime cases in 2014 and 89 in 2015, the report stated.

Two months ago, the Metropolitan Police Crime Division (MPCD) had arrested Tul Bahadur Tamang of Mankha VDC of Sindhupalchowk district for swindling Rs. 3.1 million from various people with promises of jobs in the USA and Canada.

The CIB said that it had registered more than 90 cases of Facebook cheating that include financial and Facebook blackmailing.

Cases of cyber crime are increasing fast with each passing year along with the rise in the number of internet and social media users. The Nepal Police statistics show that the number of cyber crimes surged by 105 per cent during the last fiscal 2014-15.

Prakash Jung Karki, spokesperson at the Metropolitan Police Crime Division of the Nepal Police, said that there was a need for a comprehensive cyber law, establishment of a Nepali Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT) and capacity building of all the stakeholders to combat cyber crime.

Till date, the Nepal Police have been handling cases related to cyber crime under the Electronic Transaction Act 2006.

Published Date: Wednesday, December 14th, 2016 | 03:20 AM

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