Sunday, April 5, 2009

Mumbai to get its first cyber crime police station

Mumbai: The much-awaited cyber crime police station in the state is set to be inaugurated. Assignment of posts have begun and computer-savvy officers are being selected and interviewed by the crime branch, which will head the police station.

“Earlier, the Information Technology Act stated that only an assistant commissioner of police or an officer of a higher rank could investigate cyber crimes. Now the Section has been modified and an inspector will be eligible to probe such cases,’’ said crime branch chief Rakesh Maria. He added that officers are being hand-picked and the procedure would be over by next week.

The e-police station’s location—above the Bandra-Kurla police station—was decided oneand-a-half years ago. According to an official, the facility, which has been equipped with modern technology and advanced software, can be inaugurated by the Mumbai Police commissioner or the state’s director-general of police.

The rising number of cyber crimes, including threat e-mails, as well as the need to protect the growing Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry has made it imperative for the state to get its own dedicated cyber crime-fighting unit with access to state-of-the-art technology. It will be the third such police station in the country after the ones in IT meccas of Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Last year, when Indian Mujahideen suspects hacked into the WiFi networks of US national Ken Haywood, Khalsa College and Kamran Akmal Powers Control Pvt Ltd and used them to send threat e-mails warning against terror strikes, the crime branch had to register these cases with local police stations before getting into the investigation. Now, the cyber crime police station will have the power to register FIRs in such cases and make arrests.

This unit will also tackle financial terrorism, which involves money-laundering or hawala and online flesh trade. The police station, with state-wide jurisdiction, will get money from the budget set aside for modernisation plans. The 18-member Cyber Crime Investigation Cell (CCIC) in the Mumbai Police force could be absorbed by the 61-strong cyber crime police station, officials said.

Address:
BKC Police. Station Building
Bandra Kurla Complex, Opp. I.C.I.C.I. Bank, Bandra E, Mumbai, Maharashtra - 400051
Tel:022 - 26504481, 26504882, 26504483
It comes under Kherwadi. Division
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