For too long e-commerce websites in India have been flouting the laws of India without any fear of punishment. None can doubt that e-commerce websites in India must be regulated by Indian government. However, Indian government is least interested in regulating various e-commerce websites. As a result e-commerce frauds and crimes have significantly increased in India.
E-commerce websites and other Internet intermediaries are also not complying with cyber law due diligence in India. OLX.com/OLX.in is already facing a police investigation as stolen goods were sold using OLX website. Cyber criminals have not even spared wildlife in India.
TOI has now reported that the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) has recently traced at least 200 websites all over the country, which are being used by people to trade in animal parts. Online business of animal parts is conducted through popular shopping and free ad posting websites, websites of various companies and even social networking websites, says the Bureau.
Cyber crime investigation in India is still evolving and these tech savvy cyber criminals are taking advantage of this situation. These cyber criminals are also hiding their real Internet protocol (IP) address making it very difficult to trace and nab them. These cyber criminals also take advantage of conflict of laws in cyberspace and spread their activities across different jurisdictions. An Indo-American alert, watch and warn network for real time information sharing in cyber crime cases has also been established to cooperate in investigation of cyber crimes in these two countries.
“Online trade of animal parts is rapidly increasing. In most cases, the buyers and sellers are foreigners and keep their identity hidden. So, after investigating into the case for a while, we have to stop it. We are contemplating on writing to the wildlife representatives of several countries to jointly work against this crime,” additional deputy director, WCCB, S B Negi said.
“A month ago, we were able to nab a person who placed an advertisement on a free ad website expressing his willingness to sell tiger’s teeth. We wrote to the website authority and managed to arrest the seller, son of a renowned public prosecutor of Kolkata. We handed him over to the forest department,” a WCCB officer said. Currently, this case is lying with the high court. “If found guilty, he is liable to imprisonment up to seven years,” a forest department officer said.
“This was an easy catch but all cases are not so. People are found trading not only in animal parts but even live animals. Social networking sites have become an effective medium for these kinds of deals. People use code names such as ‘Aloo’ (potato) for musk deer, ‘kola’ (banana) for elephant’s tusk, etc. to carry out the business clandestinely. Accordingly, they place their orders and goods are delivered,” the officer said.
According to another official, “We have found a total of 20 websites in West Bengal which are used to trade in animal parts. A fishing company website is used to buy and sell one or two illegal items among the various legal products.”
“People involved in this trade are tech-savvy and can even hide their IP address. We have hired cyber specialists but we need to have a more coordinated effort and that only can stop this crime,” Negi said.