NEW DELHI: The Delhi police cyber cell has arrested a man on charges of cheating a senior diplomat and several other people in the country of an amount totalling over Rs 1 crore, police said.
The police team got these leads after it investigated the hacking of the hotmail account of the senior diplomat and a subsequent incident of cheating of about Rs 1,40,000 from the persons on his list of email contacts. The team also analysed the recipient bank accounts.
The team found that all the bank accounts had fake customer details like addresses and telephone numbers and it became difficult to track the perpetrators of the crime. The cheating was done in a planned way and all steps had been taken to avoid detection, the police said.
After an investigation of the emails details, the team got a lead from one of the alleged beneficiary accounts.
Based on the investigation, the police arrested the accused Akram, a resident of Shaheen Bagh, New Delhi.
The police seized two cheque books, one passbook, five ATM cards, two Samsung mobile phone handsets, one SIM card and one MI smartphone.
Upon looking into the modus operandi of the fraud, police found that the accused used to provide fake bank accounts to associates and get the cheated amount of money deposited. The accused would then empty out the funds. He opened savings and current bank accounts on the basis of fake addresses in the name of different persons, police said.
He would then provide rooms on rent to poor people. Then he would open bank accounts in their names, police said. At first he would get their addresses altered in their Aadhaar cards. Thereafter, he would procure SIM cards on the said addresses. Once an account was opened and activated and these people received their bank kits which included an ATM card, a cheque book, details of the linked SIM card, he would take these kits from their account holders and pay them Rs 5,000 to Rs. 20,000 for each account.
Thereafter, he used to again shift the account holders from their addresses corresponding to the bank accounts to avoid detection, police said.
The accused used to open more than 4-5 accounts in different banks in the name of the same person for this purpose. As banks did not verify how many accounts they were opening in the name of a person, this remained undetected.
After this, he would provide the bank accounts to one associate who was in touch with some foreign national. This person, after the fraud, would get the cheated amount deposited in these bank accounts procured by Akram.
The accused would use various pretexts to hack IDs. Thereafter they would demand money from the victim's contacts by offering money as payment for a gift from abroad. To legitimise the operations further, they would present themselves as income tax or excise officers.
When the cheated amount was deposited in the fraudulent bank accounts, they would get SMS alerts. Thereafter, Akram and his associates would withdraw the cheated amount through bank ATMs and online transfers.
During the investigation 16 additional ATM cards of different banks in different names,32 cheque books and 25 more passbooks were recovered.
The accused has passed Class 10 and works as a local hakkim. In 2017, he came in touch with one Anees and they planned to earn easy money, police said. Thereafter they became associates and Anees contacted some foreign nationals. They assigned Akram the task of procuring bank accounts on the basis of fake addresses.
Further investigation is underway.