Illegal Software Racket Called 'Real Mango', To Corner Confirmed Train Tickets, Busted By RPF; Many Touts Arrested

Illegal Software Racket Called 'Real Mango', To Corner Confirmed Train Tickets, Busted By RPF; Many Touts Arrested
A screenshot of Indian Railway ticket reservations Irctc.co.in on July 30, 2014 in New Delhi, India. (Photo by Sneha Srivastava/Mint via Getty Images
Snapshot
  • Field units of RPF have been able to apprehend 50 people so far, including the system developer, who was the kingpin, and key managers involved in the operation of the illegal software.

Continuing with the crackdown on touts involved in a rail ticketing racket, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) has busted an illegal software operation called “Real Mango” — used for cornering confirmed train reservation during the coronavirus pandemic.

The software has now been fully decimated and the RPF has apprehended around 50 criminals so far across West Bengal, Assam, Bihar and Gujarat, the Director-General, Railway Protection Force, Arun Kumar, said.

Train tickets worth over Rs 5 lakh have been blocked during the operation.

The phenomenon of touts cornering confirmed train tickets has been confronting the Railways for long.

A coordinated and concerted drive has been launched by the public transporter to eliminate the menace so that genuine passengers get tickets in a hassle-free manner.

In view of the apprehension of increase in touting activity after the restart of passenger services, the drive against touts was intensified by the RPF.

Currently, the Railways is running 230 special trains and 80 more are slated to start service across the country from 12 September.

In the course of systematic unravelling of the workings of the illegal software, it has been found that it bypasses captcha code, synchronises bank OTP with the help of a mobile app and feeds it to the requisite form to book tickets automatically.

It also auto-fills the passenger and payment details in the forms, he said.

“The software logs in to the IRCTC website through multiple IRCTC IDs. The illegal software is sold through a five-tiered structure with the system administrator receiving payment in bitcoins,” the RPF D-G said at a presser in Delhi on Tuesday.

Operators of illegal software called “Rare Mango” later changed its name to “Real Mango”, which came to light on 9 August during action against touts by the field units of RPF.

RPF units of North Central Railway, Eastern Railway and Western Railway apprehended some suspects and initiated the process of understanding and unravelling the operation of Rare Mango/Real Mango softwares.

Field units of RPF have been able to apprehend 50 people so far, including the system developer, who was the kingpin, and key managers involved in the operation of the illegal software.

They have blocked live tickets worth more than Rs 5 lakh, Kumar said.

“Five key operatives of the illegal software have been arrested from West Bengal. The software has now been fully decimated,” Kumar said.

The first red flag was witnessed when it was discovered that the developer of the software used YouTube to advertise his product and an analysis of the data of the popular video sharing platform led to key members of the gang.

Various operations by the RPF during the coronavirus pandemic have led to the arrest of 994 touts and advance tickets worth Rs 87.70 crore have been blocked.

It has also disrupted many illegal softwares like ANMS/Red Mirchi/Black TS, TikTok, I-Ball, Red Bull, MAC, N-GET, Cycle, Star-V2 et cetera.

The information supplied by RPF helped CRIS/IRCTC strengthen security features in the PRS system due to which the softwares stopped functioning at that time, the RPF D-G said.

Earlier in January, the RPF had arrested a madrassa-educated, self-taught software developer from Jharkhand in an e-ticketing racket which is suspected to have links to terror financing.

A coordinated nation-wide action by RPF has been carried out between December 2019 to March 2020, which led to the arrest of 104 criminals.

Comments

Latest Articles

    Artboard 4Created with Sketch.