Cybercrime: Kerala Police tell banks not to block accounts without valid reasons

The ADGP said whenever cyber crimes are reported on cyber crime reporting portal, the information automatically goes to the banks and they take action. 

Published: 21st April 2023 08:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st April 2023 08:14 AM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Police have convened a meeting of all bank nodal officers in the backdrop of reports that the bank accounts of several people from the state were blocked without valid reasons. 

The meeting in which the nodal officers of all banks attended was convened by ADGP Cyber Operations, T Vikram, earlier this week. Vikram told TNIE that the meeting was convened to address the issue of certain accounts being fully frozen by the banks. “We are taking effective action regarding the bank accounts in Kerala,” he said.

The ADGP said whenever cyber crimes are reported on cyber crime reporting portal, the information automatically goes to the banks and they take action. 

“Because the bank officials have lack of clarity on how to go about it, they make mistakes by blocking the whole account instead of the particular amount that is suspected to be involved in fraud,” he said.

Another police source privy to the development, meanwhile, said clear-cut instruction has been given to the bank nodal officers not to go overboard while handling the complaints.

“The standing rule is that if a complaint is received regarding a fraudulent activity, the amount that is involved in the fraud alone should be frozen. The concept is that the person, who has registered a complaint should not lose his money. Also, the bank account holder, who is the recipient of the amount, should not be harassed beyond a point. The bank nodal officers have been told to exercise caution while taking action against the account. We have decided to deal with the matter on a case-to-case basis. We are in touch with the banks regularly over the matter,” the source said. 

The freezing of bank accounts without revealing details have been widely reported in the state. In most cases the accounts were frozen by the banks acting on the directives issued by police from other states, including Punjab, Gujarat, Telangana and Rajasthan. As many as 200 people have so far reported that their accounts were blocked, while a few managed to wriggle out of the fix by allegedly paying bribes to the police officers. 

Shaji Sugunan, SP of the Information and Communication Technology Centre of the police, said the freezing of accounts is done by the banks at the behest of investigating officers. “When the investigating officers suspect a fraud transaction, they recommend blocking that amount. When several such transactions take place, the officers direct banks to freeze the accounts fully,” he said.


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