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Kin of Assam MLA loses Rs 55 lakh to cyber fraud

Kin of Assam MLA loses Rs 55 lakh to cyber fraud

Madhurya Nath, son-in-law of Prasanta Phukan, MLA from Dibrugarh, lost Rs 55 lakh while applying for the franchise of the popular pizza brand. Accordingly, Madhurya Nath, who had an account in UCO Bank, was supposed to pay a franchise fee to the pizza brand. He was given a bank account number in Canara Bank.

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Prasanta Phukan, MLA from Dibrugarh Prasanta Phukan, MLA from Dibrugarh

Urbanization leads to problems in its wake, like the spike in the number of cybercrimes reported across the country. As cybercrime increases in the state of Assam, this time the victim is the son-in-law of a BJP MLA in Assam.

Madhurya Nath, son-in-law of Prasanta Phukan, MLA from Dibrugarh, lost Rs 55 lakh while applying for the franchise of the popular pizza brand. Accordingly, Madhurya Nath, who had an account in UCO Bank, was supposed to pay a franchise fee to the pizza brand. He was given a bank account number in Canara Bank.

However, when the transaction happened, the amount was mysteriously moved to another account in Canara Bank, which allegedly did not belong to the pizza brand. The money was later withdrawn from that bank account and Madhurya Nath lost Rs 55 lakh in the process.

MLA Prashanta Phukan has already reported this fraud to top Assam Police officers and Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.  Police are now investigating the case to find the culprits. The incident took place around one and a half months ago but was not reported at that time.

The cases of cyber fraud are rising again in India, after a dip in the first year of the pandemic. The National Crime Records Bureau's recent revelation that Assam has the second-highest rate of cybercrimes in the country in 2021, has once again highlighted how Assam residents are increasingly vulnerable to online fraud.

According to the NCRB report, India has witnessed nearly 6 per cent increase in cybercrime cases in 2021 (52,974 cases) as compared to the previous year (50,035 cases). According to the report, Assam ranks second in the cybercrime rate (13.8 per 100,000 population) in India in 2021.

The NCRB data shows that one of the common motives for such crimes is fraud, apart from sexual exploitation, and extortion. In Assam, out of the total 4,846 cybercrime cases in 2021, 704 cases were related to fraud, the report stated.

To strengthen the mechanism to deal with cybercrime, in a comprehensive and coordinated manner, the central government has taken several steps such as spreading awareness about cybercrimes, issuance of alerts/advisories, capacity building/training of law enforcement personnel/ prosecutors/ judicial officers and improving cyber forensic facilities.