Gang hacks engineer’s bank account, diverts calls to keep him in dark

The Samta Nagar police are on the lookout for a gang that allegedly hacked into an IIT engineer's account and diverted his mobile calls to keep him in the dark about the transactions. Police said gang members transferred Rs 1.75 lakh from the victim's savings account into six no-frill bank accounts opened in the names of illiterate persons.

A mobile number mentioned while opening the six accounts was traced last week to a Chinese national who had checked into a five-star hotel in Delhi. Investigations revealed that a he was involved in the racket and had local accomplices who opened fake accounts under the 'Azadi Savings Account' scheme.

Police said on November 15 last year, complainant Chinmay Das, 35, a resident of Lokhandwala complex in Kandivali (East) found that his mobile phone was displaying a 'no network' sign. He tried to restart the phone and inserted the SIM card into another phone, but to no avail. Assuming that his SIM had worn out from usage, he called the customer care centre of his mobile network service provider.

A customer care executive informed Das that calls and messages to his mobile phone number had been diverted to another number, due to which his own SIM card did not show any network. Under the impression that the SIM card was faulty, Das then asked the executive to start the process of canceling the card, which took more than three hours, said the police.

When Das switched on his phone later, he found six messages from his bank informing him that a total Rs.1.75 lakh had been transferred from his account to six accounts in places such as Rajasthan and Ghaziabad.

Das waited for the bank statements and on December 13 last year, he lodged an FIR with the Samta Nagar police.

Investigations revealed that the accounts through which the money was debited belonged to people identified as Babli Shah, Bala Jain, Talakish D and Sudha Dalvi, who are illiterate daily wage workers.

Police also found that the accounts were opened on these names with the help of Aadhar cards, their photos and fake identity documents. "Sudha, 60, does not know English. However, the account in her name had her signatures in English," said inspector L G Shinde. "We got six mobile numbers from the account forms. Five of them were bogus, but we managed to trace one," added Shinde.

Police recently learnt that the hacker who transferred the money and diverted Das's mobile number had taken advantage of the scheme under which Aadhar card holders can open zero-balance accounts within a day.

"We then traced the mobile numbers used to open the accounts, and one of the numbers was traced back to the Hilton Hotel in Mayur Vihar area in New Delhi. When we visited the hotel, we found that a Chinese national identified as Yang Quind had stayed at the hotel from October 3-9, and bought a local SIM card on the address of the hotel," said an officer.

Police suspect that an international racket operating with the help of local accomplices was involved in the case.

"We are taking help of the cyber crime unit. We will also find out if similar complaints have been registered in other parts of the country," said the officer.

Foreign hand?

Gang members opened six no-frill accounts using fake documents, in the name of illiterate labourers

They transferred Rs 1.75 lakh from victim's account into these

Police traced one of the numbers used for opening the accounts to a Chinese national who had checked in at a five-star hotel in Delhi

Police suspect involvement of an international racket

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