Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Bribes take e-wallet route, keep cops on tenterhooks

KOLKATA: 'Greasing the palms' is now passe. One can rephrase it greasing the mobile, instead. In times of liquidity crunch, bribery has undergone a metamorphosis -it has become `ebribe'. It no more changes hands, but mobile. The cyber crime section of the city police has come across complaints where bribe was demanded on mobile wallets against SIMs issued to fake identities.

Bribery , which is as ancient as human race, takes a new route. Kolkata Police, which has been keeping a track on the inflow and outflow of black money ever since demonetisation was announced, has come across the most ingenious ways to keep the tradition alive.The complaints are against officials of some enforcement agencies like income tax and sales tax, revenue intelligence and customs, who find it hassle-free and less risky to receive bribe on mobile wallets. Some cops, too, are under scanner.


Police have come across a complaint against a sales tax official who demanded bribe on three different mobile wallets. After receiving the money , he went to a department store. Because of his prior understanding with the store manager, he got cash back, with the department store keeping aside 10% margin. But the investigation hits a wall as the mobile is found to have been acquired against a fake name and the SIM was cautiously discontinued after a couple of similar transactions, said an officer. One, who is paying, certainly needs a bank account or credit account to transfer the money from the said account to his or her mobile wallet, but one does not need to have the bank account linked with the mobile wallet to receive the fund. The corrupt officials have found this handy to receive bribe without running the risk of being caught red handed. Money leaves a trail but this kind of transaction does not need to have the bank account linked with the mobile wallet to receive the fund. The corrupt officials have found this handy to receive bribe without running the risk of being caught red handed. Money leaves a trail but this kind of transaction does not after a point.Each and every wallet needs to be linked with bank accounts, only then the trail can be traced, said another officer.

There is belief that the SIM issued against fake identity is used only by terrorists. Now we suspect that many of these SIMs are used by corrupt officials for such transactions. Recently , the detective department tracked more than 80,000 SIMs issued against fake identities. Police checked voters list and found hundreds of fake documents against the names.Even the unique IMEI numbers of phones are frequently changed with easily-available software to erase the electronic footprints of such seedy transactions.

Source- TIMES OF INDIA

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