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Odisha STF Arrests Youth for Providing SIM, Debit Card to Accused in Mangaluru Blast Case

The Special Task Force (STF) of Odisha Police has arrested one more accused, the fifth in the OTP selling and sharing scam, who had provided the SIM and debit card used by the accused in last year’s Mangaluru auto blast case.

In a press statement, the STF on Sunday informed that they have arrested Pritam Kar (31) of Bhurunga village under Bari Ramchandrapur police station of Jajpur district. He will be produced before Bhubaneswar court later in the day.

Pritam and his associates have been doing this illegal business of sharing OTP, mule accounts/pre-activated digital wallets with cyber criminals, including Pakistani Intelligence Operatives (PIOs) and ISI agents since 2017.

“He (Pritam) was in direct touch with at least two PIO/ISI agents and had physically met them multiple times in other states and also had recently received Rs 1.5 lakh for selling OTP/ Mule accounts/ digital wallets,” the STF said.

The task force also came to know that the SIM and debit card used by the accused in last year’s Mangalore auto blast (terror act) was provided by Pritam Kar.

The accused has sold thousands of pre-activated SIM cards, OTPs and Mule accounts/ digital wallets till date. He used to charge up to Rs 1,000 per SIM and up to Rs 30,000 per account for mule accounts/ digital wallets.

He used to sell mule accounts/ digital wallets of India Post Payment Bank (IPPB), FiNO care, HDFC, Axis, Yes Bank, ICICI, Airtel Payment Bank, Paytm Bank etc., the STF officials said.

The OPT sharing gang used to contact the customers through various WhatsApp groups, Facebook messenger groups and Telegram groups.

Pritam was the admin of the WhatsApp group named ‘All saving AC available’ having 113 members and he used to make WhatsApp voice call/chat to many foreign numbers too. He is also a member of numerous such groups like, OTP shop-6, All OTP available, OTP Sell/ Buy Adda, OTC KYC deals, Online Project daily, Indian top OTP group, Best OTP group, etc.

Earlier, four accused were arrested in this case. The STF is conducting further investigation in this sensitive case.

On November 19 last year, an explosion was reported in an auto-rickshaw in Mangaluru, injuring the driver and the passenger, Mohammed Shariq (24), who is also the prime accused in the case. The accused Shariq, from Thirthahalli of Shivamogga district, was travelling in the auto-rickshaw with a pressure cooker fitted with a detonator, wires and batteries when it exploded on the outskirts of Mangaluru.

Karnataka Police chief later declared it a terror act and revealed that the accused has links with organised terror groups. The case is now being probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

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