Ludhiana, September 20
In a major breakthrough, the Ludhiana police on Wednesday busted an inter-state cyber fraud gang involved in a big scam, resulting in the illegal transfer and withdrawal of Rs 57 lakh from the bank account of an NRI customer here.
Manager identified targets
The gang was led by Sukhjit Singh, manager at HDFC Bank, who used to identify potential targets, including NRIs, elderly persons and dormant account holders.
Mandeep Sidhu, Commissioner of Police
The police have arrested four key gangsters, including Sukhjit Singh, a relationship manager at HDFC Bank here, Luv Kumar of Bihar, Nilesh Pandey of Ghazipur and Abhishek of Delhi.
The Commissioner of Police (CP), Mandeep Singh Sidhu, told The Tribune that the NRI, Ramandeep M Grewal, had lodged a complaint with the police on September 5, following which a case was registered at the Sadar police station here.
“An investigation was immediately launched with the help of the bank branch concerned,” he said.
Sidhu disclosed that the crime came to light when the bank manager, Punit Sahni, was analysing large transaction report, revealing the magnitude of the cyber fraud.
“The gang was led by Sukhjit Singh, who used to identify potential targets, including NRIs, elderly individuals and dormant account holders,” he said, while stating that the gangsters hacked the account of Grewal, an NRI residing in the UK, whose linked mobile number had been disconnected and re-issued.
The police investigation revealed that Sukhjit and his accomplice Luv Kumar had managed to lure the new owner of the NRI’s disconnected and re-issued mobile number with a promise of providing him a job. “They secured his identity proofs and ultimately ported the number to themselves,” the CP said.
With compromised personal details, the gangsters, led by the bank official, hacked into the NRI customer’s net banking using OTPs, changed the linked email address, added beneficiaries and ordered a new debit card via net banking.
Sidhu revealed that Rs 57 lakh was transferred from the NRI’s account to three other bank accounts held by their accomplice Sneha of Chandigarh, Kirna Devi of Faridabad and Nilesh Pandey of Ghazipur.
“Substantial recoveries have been made, including Rs 17.35 lakh, Rs 7.24 lakh frozen in various bank accounts, a MacBook Air, four mobile phones, three cheque books and eight ATM debit/credit cards,” Sidhu added.
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