SURAT: Even as police are trying to reach the root of biometric data theft racket done to pilfer food grains issued to poor people, another scam of tampering with Aadhar data has been exposed in the city.

The accused Hiren Prajapati, 26 and Prashant Pradhan, 20, both residents of Pandesara, were modifying the Aadhar Card data individuals using a rubber thumb. They were arrested on Saturday and remanded to police custody for three days by a court on Sunday.

Pandesara police booked them under various Indian Penal Code sections including 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating), 465, 467, 468, 471 (forgery) as well as sections of the IT Act. Police are yet to arrest the third accused Hitesh, whose exact details still not known

Prajapati works as agent to get applicants various types of cars like PAN card, driving license card and other government cards. He had discussed with Pradhan in past that he is in search of work related to Aadhar card. Meanwhile Pradhan came in touch with Ahmedabad resident Hitesh, who offered to provide data of a person who is authorized for updating Aadhar cards.

Later, Hitesh sold them a pen drive for Rs 6,000. “The pen drive contained details of nationalised bank officer Prashant Morvadiya, who was authorized by Unique Identification Authority of India () for updating Aadhar details of individuals. The data included thumb impression of Morvadiya and using it, the accused prepared a rubber thumb,” said K B Zala, police inspector, Pandesara police station.

It is suspected that the racket has been going on since at least one year.

Notice how “Hitesh” who sold them the stolen biometric data is not mentioned as arrested? This now appears to be a pattern with various data scams – The Tribune expose makes no mention of the people selling the access for Rs. 500 being Caught. The Kanpur Aadhaar enrolment scam mastermind is at large. The Gujarat PDS biometrics leak masterminds who sold the cracked software and biometric data to the shop owners who got arrested is at large. And Hiren is at large as well.

The scams keep coming. The masterminds remain at large. The UIDAI continues in blissful oblivion as long as no one proves that biometrics data was acquired from the Aadhaar database itself.


Vidyut

Vidyut is a commentator on socio-political issues with a keen understanding of tech and policy. She has been observing and commenting on Aadhaar since 2010 from a perspective of human rights, democracy and technological robustness.

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