M. M. ALAM
KARACHI: Director FIA, Sindh Zone, Dr. Amir Ahmed Shaikh, while addressing a Presser here announced the launching of FIA’s Cyber Crime Circle website for Sindh.
Revealing FIA’s plans to tackle the pressing matter, he said that pendency was a serious issue in the earlier website.
The new dedicated website, according to him, has been launched to provide a window to those who did not know where to go, to receive ever-increasing complaints apropos cybercrimes/harassment and speed-up the process.
He said that the earlier service (initiated in the Hayat time) closed-down due to paucity of funds while in the new website there was no financial implication.
Dr. Amir Ahmed Shaikh, pointing out that only 9 to ten percent Pakistanis use internet, informed that there were 50 million broadband subscribers in the country and the number of cellular phone subscribers might be as high as over 150 million.
Director said that people had taken their fights and rivalries to virtual world and many (who get involved in the Cybercrime in fun mode) were not even aware what the implications were.
Explaining the key features and objectives of the dedicated website Dr. Amir Ahmed Shaikh said that the mission of FIA’s Cyber Crime Circle in Sindh – as part of National Response Centre for Cyber Crimes (NR3C) – was to ensure the enforcement of cyber laws, to prevent cybercrimes, and investigate, detect and prosecute cyber criminals.
He pointed out that was the first time FIA was launching such a complaint reporting portal www.fiacybercrimesindh.com.pk, where anybody from anywhere in Sindh could report cybercrime or harassment using the online system.
Appealing that people must not suffer in silence and should come out to report cybercrimes, Dr. Amir Ahmed Shaikh told that the user-friendly complaint format was in English, Urdu and Sindhi.
He said the new portal would be more useful for young girls, women and young children who are frequent victims of harassment as they do not need to physically visit FIA’s reporting center.
Amir Shaikh told that FIA would be flexible in accepting the complaints directly by victims or anybody on their behalf. The complainants will not be required to furnish an affidavit like before.
Noting that 99% people wanted their problems to be solved (e.g.: removal of objectionable pictures or videos) without going to court, Amir Shaikh said that FIA would ensure that confidentiality and privacy of victims was protected. He said that in courts too victims’ identify would be disclosed only with their consent.
Since most of the complainants do not want to reveal their names, he said that to move or not to move the court was up to victim’s choice.
He further informed that once the complaint was launched, an automatic generated message would be delivered on the given cell phone confirming the receipt of the complaint with a reference number.
Commenting on the personnel he told that FIA was deputing well-trained staff to address the issue of cybercrimes and FIA would answer within 48 hours. In urgent cases, they would respond within a few minutes. In case the complainant expresses his discontent with the inquiry officer, the said personnel would be changed.
He told that the FIA desk officers could interact in English, Urdu and Sindhi.
Director informed that during the year 2017, FIA’s Cybercrimes Circle Sindh had received 1592 complaints pertaining to blackmailing, harassment and defamation through social media, 307 related to financial fraud, 116 threatening calls and 186 in connection with mail hacking.
Answering to a question regarding breaching of privacy he said that the sensitive data would remain in Pakistan. It was insinuated by a journalist that Cloud-based information could one day be exposed like the Panama Leaks.
Dr. Amir Ahmed Shaikh told that ATM skimming was high-priority case and revealed that Chinese nationals were involved in it.
Commenting on the nabbing of two Chinese men* who were purportedly planting a skimming device on an ATM in Saddar’s Zainab Market area, Director FIA Sindh Zone, Dr. Amir Ahmed Shaikh held that integrity of an entire nation could not be gauged by the act of a couple of its citizens!
Answering to a query apropos grant of visas to Chinese Jails’ inmates who are employed on various CPEC projects here, he said that one could not say anything against anybody until he (or she) has committed a crime.
Dr. Amir Ahmed Shaikh went on to say that such acts of some individuals could not affect projects (like CPEC) going on Govt. to Govt. basis.
Further commenting on the crime, Dr. Amir Shaikh informed that in a recent meeting with SBP and Commercial Banks, FIA had asked them to be more alert vis-à-vis ATM skimming. Dr. Shaikh also acknowledged the support of Chinese diplomatic post here apropos nabbing the culprits.
Informing that FIA was in close contact with NGOs like PILER, Aurat Foundation and other institutes like SZABIST etc., the Director said that they would train 10-15 people from these organizations.
Conceding that most of the social media services (Facebook, Twitter etc) were based in USA the Director told that he had written a letter to the Ministry and they most likely were in negotiations with their counterparts.
Stressing that FIA could not just sit idle till any agreement was signed, he repeatedly cited an example of a medical student who – being blackmailed – wanted to commit suicide. But thanks to the effective measures taken by FIA Cybercrime Circle her agony was assuaged as a result of a patch-up between the perpetrator and the victim.
Director, addressing the culprits, sternly warned that FIA (by means of cutting-edge technology) would get them any way and they would face punishment of 3 to 14 years of imprisonment and Rs. 50,000 to Rs. five million fine.
*According to details two Chinese men, identified as Zhang Qiaocheng and Zhong Showen, were arrested here Wednesday (10th of January) when they were in the process of stealing data of a bank’s customers at its Zainab Market’s ATM located on main Abdullah Haroon Road.
Personnel, monitoring the real-time surveillance feed, got suspicious when they noticed the accused acting in a strange way and informed the bank staff.
Later LEA personnel recovered a skimming device from the two accused who came to Pakistan on 2nd of January on business visas. Suspects, who are presently in the custody of FIA cybercrime cell, have visited the very ATM three days ago.
Kasur’s Serial-Killing-Pedophile still at large: Relatives of eight (raped and murdered) girls appear before SC!
LAHORE: Parents and relatives of those eight girls who had been raped and murdered in Kasur since 2015 appeared before the SC bench at the registry here today asking for justice.
On request from the investigation agencies, the CJP has given them 72 hours to nab the culprit. The three-member bench headed by CJP is hearing a suo motu case of the rape & murder of Zainab, whose body was found from a garbage heap in Kasur on ninth day of this month. Court took notice the very next day.
The bench – that has again been told that eight girls had so far been raped and murdered in Kasur by one single pedophile serial killer (as per DNA reports) – reiterated that if the Police had taken action back in 2015 (when the first murder was reported) lives of other seven kids could have been saved.
The court asked what the police was doing while so many incidents were taking place repeatedly within the remit to two police stations?
Court, unsatisfied by the ongoing investigation, has asked why the SHO not removed despite repeated incidents and complaints from citizens.
Cynics go haywire wondering:
i) How could the nation expect any professional action from policemen who themselves had bought the job under the very noses of those who lament inaction? (Reportedly one can buy a constable’s job for half a million rupees, become ASI paying three and a half million and so on and so forth);
II) The Police Stations are sold; Extra-Judicial Killings are rampant; Policemen drawing meagre salaries live in palatial houses’
iii) The very moment a person enters a court (no matter which) he/she pays his way right from the lowest clerk to the highest authority to get his file move. How could court that has failed to weed-out corruption from the very institution it operates in expect imandaree from Police or other institutions?
When the court was told that tissues was acquired of 800 possible suspects for DNA tests, Police has been asked to use its conventional methods to nab the culprits instead of acquiring tissues of 21 million Pakistanis for DNA tests.
RELEVANT PIECES PUBLISHED EARLIER
Kabul hotel cleared, 3 Taliban killed: Pakistan condemns attack!
ISLAMABAD: Fallowing killing of three Taliban attackers, LEA’s have declared Intercontinental Hotel Kabul cleared.
Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs while condemning the attack held: “Pakistan strongly condemns the brutal terrorist attack at the Inter-Continental Hotel in Kabul last evening. We express deep grief and sorrow at the loss of precious human lives and the injuring of many others in this terrorists act.
“The Government and the people of Pakistan convey solidarity and support with the Government and people of Afghanistan at this dastardly terrorist attack. We convey our deepest sympathies for those who have lost their loved ones and our sincere prayers and wishes are of early recovery of those who have sustained injuries in this heinous terror attack.
“We reiterate our strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. In our view, cooperation among the states is important for effectively combating and eliminating the scourge of terrorism”.
Pakistan condemns the terrrorist attack at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul pic.twitter.com/rQk4VtLROM
— Dr Mohammad Faisal (@DrMFaisal) January 21, 2018
Meanwhile, TOLO news has taken to twitter to comment on the state of affairs:
— TOLOnews (@TOLOnews) January 21, 2018
RELEVANT PIECE PUBLISHED EARLIER
KABUL: Eight Taliban militants kill five guests at Intercontinental Hotel!
KABUL: Flames could be seen coming out of the 4th floor of Intercontinental Hotel here as an attack is being carried out by four gunmen and four suicide bombers presently.
According to a source in the National Directorate of Security the fourth floor had been set on fire by the attackers.
Till filing of this piece five people were confirmed dead and eight injured. Afghan LEAs had claimed to have rescued about a hundred hostages.
Sources privy to Newspakistan.tv have informed that the siege still continues.
It is pertinent to mention here that in its 18th January, 2018 tweet US State Department had issued a security alert stating that extremist groups might be planning an attack against hotels in Kabul:
Security Alert for #Kabul, #Afghanistan: reports that extremist groups may be planning an attack against hotels in Kabul, such as the Hotel Baron near Hamid Karzai Int'l Airport. Review suggested actions in attached image. For more information, visit: https://t.co/vxivPWIHOP pic.twitter.com/CrCIpXbC2e
— Travel – State Dept (@TravelGov) January 18, 2018
Readers may recall that seven Taliban militants stormed the very hotel in the month of June, 2011 killing ten of its occupants. All the attackers were also gunned down (File Photo).