Glitch allows man to spend Rs 3 cr on ATM-debit card

MNONR

A technical glitch in the computer systems of Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) allegedly allowed a 24-year-old Vijayawada man to spend over Rs 3 crore on two ATM-cum-debit cards in India and Australia over nine months. He was ultimately arrested by the CBI, and was recently given bail by a Vijayawada court.

Tejo Bhaskar Yalavarthy, a student of business administration in Australia, had opened an account in Vijaywada in 2010. Between September 6, 2010 and May 31, 2011, he allegedly made 3,692 transactions on two cards — the second card having been issued to him after the first stopped working — drawing cash and making purchases in India and Australia, worth a total Rs 3.18 crore.

A "technical failure" apparently allowed Yalavarthy to carry out the transactions undetected even though his account did not have that kind of money. A CBI officer said IOB failed to relay the stop-transaction code to VISA for transactions made in Australia, or to immediately reconcile them with its records.

After IOB complained, CBI registered a case of cheating and criminal conspiracy against Yalavarthy on January 6 this year. He had reportedly fled Australia in 2011 after transactions made on the cards were dishonoured. During searches of his premises, CBI found laptops, high-end cameras and iPods allegedly purchased on the cards, a CBI spokesperson said. Several chargeslips were also allegedly recovered.

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