The Extradition Cell of the Mumbai Police Crime Branch on Wednesday arrested a 29-year-old Navi Mumbai resident,who is wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the US,on charges of hacking and password trafficking.
The suspect,Nikhil Kolbekar,was produced before the Esplanade Court on Thursday and has been remanded in judicial custody. He will be produced before the Patiala House court in Delhi on July 25,with the US pressing for his extradition through the Interpol.
Crime Branch sources said Kolbekar had completed a course in hotel management but was unable to find a job with good prospects for around two years after he graduated. It was then that he allegedly began visiting illegal hacker forums on the Internet and learning hacking techniques.
After completing his hotel management course,Kolbekar could not get a good job. He then sat idle at home for some time,and began visiting hacker forums online. He was already computer-savvy,and through these illegal online forums he picked up hacking skills and hacking tools. He began operating an illegal website for purchase and sale of items and it was then that he came under the scanner of the FBI,who blocked the site and began monitoring his online activities closely, said a Crime Branch officer,who did not wish to be named.
What landed Kolbekar in serious trouble was that he used to trade in remote desktop protocol,which allows a person sitting in a remote location to see,in real-time,what activity takes place on a computer at another location. This allowed for confidential information pertaining to identity and passwords being hacked and sold. The FBI registered a case against him in March 2010,and a letter rogatory was subsequently issued by a US court for investigations in India, said the officer.
Crime Branch sources said the FBI had charged Kolbekar with conspiracy of computer hacking and password trafficking and that a warrant had been issued against him by the US District Court of Southern New York.
The police have seized a computer,hard-disk,CPU,CDs and pen-drives from Kolbekar,which will be used as evidence against him.