Delhi Police has made its first arrest in the case of former CJI Justice R M Lodha being cheated of Rs 1 lakh, by tracking down an Udaipur-based man through his bank account.
Additional DCP (South) Parvinder Singh said the accused, Dinesh Mali (44), lives in Udaipur’s Maliwada. Police said Mali installs water purifiers. He was apprehended by a six-member team, which went to Udaipur after tracking down his bank account. Justice Lodha had told police he transferred Rs 1 lakh to what he believed was a surgeon’s account, after he got emails from a former SC judge, saying he needed money for the treatment of his cousin’s acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
It was only later he figured out that his friend’s email had been hacked two days before the correspondence on April 19. The accused duped Justice Lodha into transferring the money to Mali’s account. Police said that right after the money was transferred, Mali visited a local ATM and withdrew the money in two transactions. When his bank account was investigated, police found transactions to the tune of Rs 3 lakh over the past three days. “There are more complainants who were duped in a similar fashion. We are reaching out to them,” the officer said.
Police have been unable to trace the main accused, as they are still awaiting a response from the email provider, which takes 15 days. “We need the IP address of the accused, which is taking time. Thankfully, in this case, the money was not transferred through e-wallets, but to a bank account,” an officer said.
It took police three days to track down Mali, as officers went around the city knocking on doors, showing his photos to locals. However, Mali, police said, is not the main accused and was paid Rs 1,000 to maintain a bank account being operated by a gang.
“The gang members are responsible for hacking a former Supreme Court judge’s account. They made Mali withdraw the money, so their faces would not be captured on CCTV footage,” said a police officer.
Police have ascertained the identity of the man, who gave Mali the bank account, as Mukesh, who worked in the construction sector.