Punjab Police cracks multi-crore high-tech fraud

Punjab Police cracks multi-crore high-tech fraud

Chandigarh: State Cyber Crime Cell of Punjab Police has cracked a high-tech bank fraud by arresting a key member of the gang wanted in 6 multi-crore cases registered at different police stations in Punjab and Haryana.

ADGP-cum-Director, Bureau of Investigation, Punjab Arpit Shukla said the cyber crime cell investigated this case registered at the police station, Cyber Crime, SAS Nagar (Mohali) on the complaint of Vijay Kumar, Location Manager of HDFC Bank, who had alleged that about Rs. 2 crore was fraudulently withdrawn from an account in their bank in a tech savvy manner.  

Three persons were nominated in this case as accused during investigation and out of them two namely Rajiv Kumar and Deepak Kumar Gupta of Shimlapuri, Ludhiana were arrested January 28, 2020. However, the key accused Amit Sharma aka Nitin of Deol Enclave, Ludhiana had managed to escape that day.

Since then, he was on the run and finally arrested on Thursday from Shimlapuri area of Ludhiana. With his arrest, all these cases involving fraudulent transfer of several crore rupees stand solved

Revealing the modus operandi, Shukla said the fraudsters, very shrewdly, changed the email IDs and mobile numbers registered with the bank account of the victim to identical mobile numbers and email IDs thereby updating their own mobile numbers and email IDs in the targeted accounts. This is how they became the virtual controllers of that account.

During the investigation, it was found that the fraudster siphoned off the account money and transferred it to 5 different bank accounts. These bank accounts were opened on fake identity and later on withdrew the cash by ATM withdrawals and self cheques from the accounts.

In this case, accused Nitin impersonated as Akash Arun Bhatia – victim of the case – and gained internet access to his bank account. Thereafter, the accused transferred the money to five different accounts opened in the name of Vikram Singh by submitting forged documents.

Investigation showed that all the government identity proofs including chip-based driving licenses, PAN cards, hologram containing Voter ID cards, etc provided for opening bank accounts and for obtaining mobile numbers were found to be fake and fabricated.

All the money withdrawals were done by the fraudsters through ATM cards and cheques thereby leaving no trail for the police to follow. Moreover, the mobile numbers used by them were made functional only while committing the crime and remained non-accessible thereafter. 

These racketeers were operating from Ludhiana as the mobile phones, when used to commit crime, were found to be located there. The police had conducted intensive physical search and door-to-door verification of the area, where these phones were operational.

Further recoveries would be effected in due course.

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