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Three persons, including two former employees of a multinational technology and consulting organisation, have been arrested when they were caught hacking debit and credit cards of foreign nationals red-handed and transferring money to their accounts through some websites, including a Dubai-based hotel, on Tuesday night. The website of the Dubai-based hotel has already been hacked by the accused.
The accused have been identified as Rajesh Sharma, a resident of Zirakpur, Pawan Singh of Ghaziabad and Ankur Sharma of Delhi. They were arrested from a hotel at Sector 35 and four cellphones, a laptop and some fake documents were recovered from them. Pawan and Ankur have worked with the multinational technology and consulting organisation. Pawan is a postgraduate in mass communication. They were remanded in 10 days’ police custody on Wednesday.
Police have identified two associates of the accused, including one settled in Hong Kong and the other in Patna, from whom the accused used to purchase the data of credit and debit cards after making the payment in the shape of bitcoins and dollars. The accused were operating through Darknet, a computer software with restricted access that is used primarily for illegal peer-to-peer file sharing, and using a proxy server to commit the crime.
Sources in the cyber cell said, “After purchasing the debit/credit data from their counterparts in Hongkong and Patna, the accused preferred to transfer the amount to specific websites, which had already been hacked by them. And, from the websites, which belong to different sectors, including hotels, tour-travels, online shopping, etc, the accused transferred the amount to their accounts. These accounts were registered against fake identities and the accused withdrew the cash from these accounts through online shopping, Paytm and other modes.”
Inspector Harinder Singh Sekhon, in charge of the cyber cell, said, “At a time when a raid was conducted at the hotel room in which hackers were operating, they hacked the website of a Dubai-based hotel and transferring the cash from the debit and credit cards of some foreign nationals to the account of the Dubai hotel. We videographed the entire process to make a fool proof case against them.”
DIG (UT) Alok Kumar said the accused preferred to target companies based abroad because they knew that the victims had little or no chance at all of taking legal action against them. “We have decided to contact countries through the external affairs ministry to ascertain the particulars about the victims, through whose debit and credit cards, the accused transferred the money to their accounts,” he added.
Another accused in custody
Cyber accused Rohit Kumar, a resident of Delhi, who was arrested by Chandigarh police on June 12 for cheating a Hallomajra resident, was earlier arrested by Huderabad police in June 2016. Rohit was on bail in that case and again started cheating people. He has been remanded in three-day police custody.