Cyber fraudsters recently siphoned Rs 89,467 from the bank account of Laila Rustom Jahangir, the daughter of construction magnate Pallonji Shapoorji Mistry, the chairman of Shapoorji Pallonji Group.
Jahangir (62) lives in Dubai and holds an account at a leading private bank in Parel. Since she lives abroad, she had made her father the mandate holder to operate the account. He, in turn, passed on the mandate to the firm’s Director Firoz Bathena, the police said.
Since the last decade, however, the firm’s Deputy General Manager (Accounts) Jayesh Merchant has also been a mandate holder of Jahangir’s account and SMS alerts of transactions are sent to his mobile phone.
In a complaint to the Colaba police station last week, Merchant said that since the account was old, no debit card or credit card was linked to it and all transactions were carried out by cheque.
On the morning of July 1, Merchant received SMS alerts from the bank stating that four transactions, totalling Rs 40,000, were made using a debit card linked to Jahangir’s account, the police said.
Merchant told the police that he inquired with Bathena, who informed him that he had not carried out any transactions. Later that day, Merchant received alerts of four more transactions, adding up to Rs 40,000.
Only after alerting the bank was Merchant informed that a debit card for Jahangir’s bank account had been issued in Bathena’s name and dispatched to the firm’s office in Cuffe Parade in 2018.
Merchant immediately blocked the debit card and inspected the account statement. It showed that additional transactions had also been made using the card at a restaurant and a bakery goods supplier in June.
An officer at Colaba police station said that an offence was registered against unknown persons last week for cheating, identity theft and impersonation under the Indian Penal code and the Information Technology Act.
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