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State cyber cell arrests third accused involved in multi-crore bank fraud

The fraudster had siphoned off money from the account and transferred it to five different bank accounts, which were opened on a fake identity.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh, Mohali | August 28, 2020 12:44:00 pm
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The Police State Cyber Crime Cell Thursday busted a high-tech multi-crore bank fraud racket operating in the state and arrested the key member of the three-person gang, Amit Sharma alias Nitin. The team nabbed Sharma from Shimlapuri area of Ludhiana.

Disclosing this, ADGP-cum-Director, Bureau of Investigation, Arpit Shukla, said the cybercrime cell had investigated this case on the complaint of Vijay Kumar, Location Manager of HDFC Bank, who had alleged that a fraud of around Rs 2 crore from a HDFC bank account was committed in a tech savvy manner.

During the investigation, it was found that the fraudster had siphoned off money from the account and transferred it to five different bank accounts. These bank accounts were opened on a fake identity. The money was later withdrawn from these accounts by way cash from ATMs and self cheques.

Revealing the modus operandi, the ADGP said the fraudsters changed 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 hence becoming virtual controllers.

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

The ADGP further informed that during the course of investigation it was found that all government identity proofs including chip-based driving licenses, PAN cards, hologram containing Voter ID cards, etc provided as KYC documents for opening of 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 were made functional only during the commission of the crime and remained non-accessible thereafter, the ADGP added.

Elaborating further, Shukla said they found that the racketeers were operating from Ludhiana as the mobile phones were located there when being used for the crime. Physical searches and door-to-door verification of the area where these phones were operational were conducted during investigation.

Shukla said that that three accused were nominated in this case as accused during investigation and out of them two accused namely Rajiv Kumar and Deepak Kumar Gupta of Shimlapuri were arrested on January 28 from Shimlapuri, Ludhiana.

However, one accused managed to escape on that day. A special team was formed to nab Amit Sharma, a resident of Deol Enclave, Ludhiana and the third member of the gang.

“This accused was absconding since January 8 and it has been found that he is wanted in six FIRs registered in various police stations in Punjab and Haryana in multi-crore frauds,” the ADGP revealed.

An FIR in this regard was registered at the State Cyber Cell in Phase IV under relevant sections of the Information Technology Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

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