Principal Secretary of the state information technology department,Rajesh Aggarwal,passed an order on November 29 directing two banks to pay back a Mumbai businessman from whose account Rs 16.7 lakh was allegedly illegally siphoned off. Cyber security experts have called this crime,which occurred in May,the first such reported in the country,in which the accused allegedly hacked into the Know Your Customer (KYC) database of the bank to obtain the sensitive data.
Aggarwal,who is also the adjudicating officer in cases of cyber crime lodged with the department,directed two bank branches in Jaipur,where the amount was allegedly transferred,to pay the amount that they had frozen,to the complainant. Of the Rs 16.7 siphoned off,Rs 2.52 lakh was withdrawn by the accused. The interim order has directed the banks to de-freeze this amount, said cyber law and cyber security expert advocate Prashant Mali,who is representing the complainant.
On May 4,Rs 16.7 lakh was allegedly siphoned off in six real-time transactions from an account at a nationalised bank held by Ashish Goradia,a Juhu-based businessman who owns Raatronics,a firm that makes computer resistors. The money was deposited to several accounts all over New Delhi and Jaipur through Real Time Gross Settlement and National Electronic Funds Transfer. A probe revealed that the fraudsters hacked into the KYC data of the bank and replaced the complainants cellphone number so that he wouldnt receive alerts about the transactions.
According to the complaint lodged by Goradia at Juhu police station on May 7,a cheque issued by him bounced after the bank intimated him of the lack of sufficient funds. After he was informed of the transactions,Goradia asked the bank to block the transactions.
After the bank contacted the other branches where the money was transferred to,they immediately froze the amounts.
Goradia recently closed his account and opened another in a private sector bank,a move his lawyer alleged was the result of the unwillingness of the nationalised bank to de-freeze the account. Before banks freeze an account,they should allow the customer to withdraw the money. In this case,the bank was adamant and did not show Goradia any consideration. They did not allow his business to function in the time that the account was frozen, Mali said.
Aggarwal said he expects the banks to comply with the order. In all such similar orders passed so far,the banks have deposited the amount within one or two days. The banks freeze the accounts when they receive the complaint, he said.