Crack down on extortionists | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 19, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 19, 2019


Crack down on extortionists

Businessmen targeted over phone

Traders living in Kachukhet area are facing the menace of getting phone calls from criminals who apparently operate with impunity. Businessmen are called up using SIM cards that are fake or internet-based applications that cannot be traced. The failure to pay is resulting in murder, and often victims are simply too traumatised to lodge a complaint with the police fearing reprisal attacks. Some have survived attacks whilst others have not been so fortunate. Extortion money is demanded in the name of well-known criminals living abroad but there are also fraudulent callers. But as people have little faith that they will get reprieve from this menace, many simply pay up.

This phenomenon is hardly new, but what it does tell us is that law enforcement agencies are suffering from a trust deficit since there is under-reporting of the extortion menace. We are told that illegal Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) is being used to call targets and the failure of the police to trace the source of these calls is not helping matters.

This sort of criminal activity has been going on for years and yet law enforcers’ lack of capacity to identify callers and their location remains unaddressed. It is time for the authorities to find out the causes of this lacuna, whether it is a lack of technical resources or whether there are corrupt officials who are involved in this racket. Whatever may be the case, it is a serious threat to law and order and the law enforcement agencies need to crack down on criminals and frauds who are terrorising people.

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