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.
FIA arrests human smuggler, recovers 167 passports
ISLAMABAD: Anti Human Trafficking Cell (AHTC) of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) conducted a raid at Civic Centre Phase-4 Bahria Town Rawalpindi and arrested a human smuggler.
According to a press release issued here Wednesday, FIA AHTC also recovered 167 Pakistani passports from the possession of the accused, Uzair Hussain s/o Ghulam Hussain.
A case has also been registered against the accused. The accused was also involved in extortion of Rs.5.1 million from Hajj pilgrims.
Misuse of authority by CAA and PIA officials, NAB chief orders verification
ISLAMABAD: Taking notice of the misuse of authority by CAA and PIA, Chairman NAB Justice (R) Javed Iqbal today ordered complaint verification against officials of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and Pakistan International Airline (PIA).
The chairman NAB took notice of media reports as PIA passengers were suppose to return from Skardu by PIA flight which reached from Islamabad and was scheduled to come back on time but the Director General CAA allegedly took a group of friends for a special tour to Nanga Parbat on the PIA plane by misusing his authority and due to which PIA passengers have to wait for two hours, said a press release.
The chairman NAB ordered NAB Gilgit/Rawalpindi to probe the matter in detail and submit a report in this regard.
Javed Iqbal also sought a report from PIA for taking action against former CEO of PIA who not only took away PIA plane to abroad without any legal authority and then selling it on throw away price in Germany. The Chairman NAB said PIA was our national asset and safety of this asset was our national duty.
He directed to identify the real culprits allegedly involved in both the incidents so that they would be brought to justice and to recover lost national exchequer from them.
Anti Narcotics Force commanders conference held
RAWALPINDI: Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) Commanders Conference was held here on Wednesday at ANF Headquarters under the chairmanship of Director General, Major General Musarrat Nawaz Malik.
The conference was attended by Commanders of all ANF Regional Directorates and Senior Staff Officers. During the conference, the DG appreciated the performance of ANF outfits especially ongoing Hajj Operation initiated throughout the country smoothly and focused on the campaign against drug sellers affecting the youth.
He also highlighted the emerging trends of use of synthetic drugs, underlining it as a grave threat requiring special measures. He urged to ensure the strict checking of the pilgrims as well as international flights and to speed up the ongoing countrywide counter-narcotics operations, with a continued special focus on the apprehension of elements involved in the distribution of drugs among the students of academic institutions and hostels.
He also directed the commanders to take measures for the apprehension of absconders and proclaimed offenders.
The DG reviewed the progress of counter-narcotics operations and stressed on proactive and innovative steps for curbing drug trafficking and apprehension of sources of supply of drugs.
Moreover, matters pertaining to enforcement, intelligence, assets investigation, prosecution, mass awareness, finance, administration, and infrastructure development were widely discussed, futuristic goals were also set-forth, paying special concentration on new initiatives and capacity building goals.