A total of 16,735 user IDs were identified through which tickets were illegally booked for blacklisting, other than blocking 27,948 number of tickets worth Rs 7.96 crore for upcoming railway journeys.
Crackdown on illegal IRCTC e-ticket bookings! As many as 79 persons have been arrested and several user IDs have been identified by the Railway Protection Force (RPF), through which Indian Railways’ tickets were booked illegally. Arun Kumar, Director-General of the RPF was recently quoted in a PTI report, saying that a total of 16,735 user IDs were identified through which tickets were illegally booked for blacklisting, other than blocking 27,948 number of tickets worth Rs 7.96 crore for upcoming railway journeys. Also, illegal software including ANMS and MAC were completely neutralized by the RPF, which the racketeers used for booking IRCTC e-tickets illegally by getting around OTP and CAPTCHA systems, he said.
Besides, the RPF also seized tickets worth of Rs 30 crore, which were already used by railway passengers, the DG said. According to Kumar, the racket existed since the year 2012 but it became more active in the last two-three years. The arrested persons were also suspected to have links to terror financing. He further said that the arrests were made in various parts of India and the accused included owners of the illegal software. However, no agents have been arrested yet, he said.
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According to the RPF DG, ANMS software was deactivated on January 23 and MAC on February 8. In the past, similar softwares have been deactivated as well. Kumar said that nearly 80 per cent of the ticket booking market was captured by the illegal ANMS software. He said that the owner having an ID and password for the illegal software would sell “layers” of the software to agents for a specific duration for ticket bookings. He further said that some other software that are illegal are available in the market but they do not function. The RPF is working to neutralize all other illegal software as well.
The RPF is working closely with IRCTC, CRIS and the commercial departments of Indian Railways. Kumar said that the security features are updated by CRIS, which also disrupts the function of such software. The investigation also revealed that these software bypassed OTP systems used for online transactions. The RBI brought this into notice, asking it to make online payment for ticket bookings more secure. Kumar also said that OTP is not required for online payments up to Rs 2,000. The RPF had told RBI that as far as Indian Railways’ tickets are concerned, single payments (without OTP) should not be bypassed, he added.