Bengaluru couple go on pilgrimage, lose phones, Rs 2.5L

The couple was on a pilgrimage to Varanasi's Kashi Vishwanath Temple, miscreants stole their phones and cash during a holy dip at Triveni Sangam. Upon returning, they discovered Rs 2.5 lakh was stolen from their account through UPI.
For representational purposes (Express Illustrations)
For representational purposes (Express Illustrations)

BENGALURU: SL Shivananda, a resident of Nagarabhavi, who had gone on a pilgrimage to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, along with his wife, Sudha, returned with bad memories, after some miscreants robbed the couple of their mobile phones and cash.

Their trauma did not end in Varanasi, but continued even after they reached Bengaluru. The couple had acquired duplicate SIM cards, but soon after activation, they discovered that cash to the tune of Rs 2.5 lakh was stolen from Shivananda’s account by the miscreants, through UPI.

The couple left for Varanasi on January 22 from Bengaluru. At 8.30 am on January 24, they went to Triveni Sangam in Prayagraj for a holy dip. In the rush, the couple were targeted by pick-pockets, who made away with two mobile phones belonging to Shivananda and Sudha. The couple also lost Rs 8,000 cash.

They approached the local police station to file a complaint, but could not get it registered. Luckily, Sudha had some cash with her, which helped them return home on January 29. Two days later, they obtained duplicate SIM cards. However, after they were activated, the couple learnt that Rs 2.5 lakh had been withdrawn from Shivananda’s account, leaving a balance of just Rs 18.

Speaking to TNSE, Shivananda said the accused have withdrawn money from his bank account through UPI. “The crime came to light only after the SIM was activated. The accused, using my mobile phone, transferred money to their accounts between January 24 and 27. The mobile was password-protected. Due to the rush, I did not observe if anybody was watching me, as I operated my phone. I have raised a complaint with the police and the bank,” he added.

Shivananda has filed a complaint in the Annapoorneshwari Nagar police station. “The accused must have observed the victim keying in the password to his mobile, or they must have hacked it. The account numbers to which the money has been sent by the accused from the victim’s phone are in different North Indian states,” said an officer.

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