Bhubaneswar: The Special Task Force (STF) of Odisha arrested Mohammad Ekbal Hussain on September 19, 2023, in Gandhua Pathar, Assam. He was subsequently transferred to Bhubaneswar under a 5-day transit remand and is scheduled to appear before the Bhubaneswar court on September 22, 2023.
Hussain’s arrest is part of an ongoing investigation into a cybercrime ring involved in the sale of WhatsApp Account OTPs, Telegram Account OTPs, and Mule/Ghost Accounts. He is alleged to have been in direct contact with Khurram, a Pakistan Intelligence Officer, who was also involved in the ring.
Following the arrest of the main accused, Pathani Samanta Lenka, and his associates, Hussain went underground by turning off his phone. It was discovered that he had used a staggering 37 IMEI numbers (handsets) and over 500 SIM cards during his illicit activities.
In a confession, Hussain admitted to engaging in cybercrimes, including the sale of OTPs for WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, fake activated SIM cards, and Mule/Ghost Accounts for the past two years. His monthly earnings from these activities ranged between Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 60,000.
Hussain also disclosed that many adult males in his village, Gandhua Pathar in Nagaon District, Assam, were involved in similar cybercrimes. Typically, these individuals used SIM cards and mobile handsets for approximately a month before disposing of them by discarding them into a river.