Computer Crime Research Center


Cyber cops ready to click

Date: January 16, 2008
By: Hafeez

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra police hope to give a major boost to the InfoTech and call centre industries in the region as well as improve cyber-crime detection by opening a state-of the art Cyber Crime Police Station within a fortnight.

Maharashtra's first, full-fledged, dedicated Cyber Crime Police Station will start functioning on the first floor of the Bandra-Kurla Complex Police Station in Bandra (East).

Unlike the current Cyber Crime Investigation Cell (CCIC) of the Mumbai police, which has jurisdiction only in the city, the new police station will have statewide jurisdiction. It will also have the power to register FIRs and make arrests, powers that the CCIC do not have.

The 18-member CCIC will be absorbed into the 61-strong police station. While all 84 police stations in the city report to the joint commissioner of police (law and order), personnel from the new police station will report to the joint commissioner (crime).

Police officials said the new facility will help tackle e-crimes as also give a boost to the Business Process Outsourcing and call-centre industry in the region.

The only other two dedicated cyber crime police stations in the country are in the Information Technology (IT) meccas of Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Police officials said the police station will be staffed with computer-literate graduates who have been trained in taking down FIRs.

They will focus mainly on offences that can be registered under the IT Act, 2000—like money-laundering, hawala transactions and the online flesh trade.

The increasing number of cyber crimes has made it imperative for Maharashtra to get its own dedicated Cyber Crime Police Station, officials said.

As technology improves, so do the tools used by criminals, they added.

"We are shifting equipment from the CCIC at Crawford Market to the BKC and the full-fledged cyber police station will become functional within 15 days with added features, advanced technology and improved software," said joint commissioner of police (administration) Hemant Karkare.

The existing CCIC office will be converted into a branch office of the BKC Cyber Crime Police Station.

Karkare said that even if the accused and the victim in a cyber crime are not from Mumbai, but the service provider is from the city, the cyber police station will register the case.

"Rs 50 lakh has been given from the budget for the police modernisation plan to upgrade the cyber police station. Our computers will have anti-virus and anti-hacking software," informed Karkare.

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