SIM biometrics, calllists (statements) and information about financial services institutions are provided on mobile phones — such an ad was advertised on Facebook by criminal gangs last month. This came to the notice of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DB) Cyber and Special Crime Department. The advertisement was promoted from a Facebook page called ‘Digital Service Pro’.
DB started investigation based on advertisement. They found out that the gang first took the fingerprints of people who came to buy and exchange SIMs. Still the customer was told that his finger was not clean. Take the impression again.
The second impression was taken in another machine. Circle members have their own app. Using that app, the national identity card information of the fingerprinted person was collected. Later the SIM was removed and sold to criminals without the person’s knowledge.
On September 11, DB arrested eight members of the gang in raids in Dhaka, Kurigram and Rangpur. At that time, various digital devices including computer, fingerprint collection equipment were recovered from them.
DB Cyber Division Additional Deputy Commissioner Junayet Alam Sarkar told that 800 fingerprints of ordinary people were found on the arrested persons. For two years, the gang members had been stealing fingerprints and personal information like this. Efforts are on to arrest the rest of the gang.
Common people’s fingerprints are now traded. One criminal sells that impression to another criminal. Later SIMs with stolen fingerprints are sold to criminals. Ordinary people are in trouble. The culprits cannot be found.
For example, the police identified 30 people in a gang involved in the theft of fingerprints on the basis of an advertisement given on Facebook last month. Eight people have been arrested.
According to the police, they used to steal and save fingerprints of people who came to buy new SIMs and replace old SIMs with new SIMs. The SIM, which was printed against a person’s fingerprint, was sold for Tk 20,000 to Tk 25,000.