Dakshina Kannada man falls prey to cyber fraud, held in Saudi jail

The shopkeeper had taken his thumb impression twice during the purchase after which Chandrashekhara received a message in Arabic on his mobile phone. 

Published: 18th August 2023 06:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th August 2023 06:33 AM   |  A+A-

fake, fraudster

Image used for representational purpose only.

By Express News Service

MANGALPUR:  Chandrashekhara MK, 33, from Mujoor village in Kadaba taluk of Dakshina Kannada has been languishing in a jail in Saudi Arabia for the past eight months after hackers allegedly opened a bank account in his name and made a fund transaction.

Revealing this to reporters here on Thursday, social activist Shridhar Gowda said Chandrashekhara, who was working for Al Fanar Co in Riyadh, visited a shop in that city a year ago to buy a mobile phone and a SIM card. The shopkeeper had taken his thumb impression twice during the purchase after which Chandrashekhara received a message in Arabic on his mobile phone. 

Subsequently, he also received a call asking him to share the OTP sent on his mobile phone. An unsuspecting Chandrashekhara simply did as he was told.

Chandrashekhara’s marriage cancelled due to arrest

Gowda said in November last, Saudi Arabian police arrested Chandrashekhara in a bank fraud case involving Rs 22,000 (approximately Rs 4.87 lakh). It was only then that Chandrashekhara realised through his friends in Riyadh that fraudsters had opened a bank account in his name using his documents.

Gowda said Chandrashekhara’s marriage was scheduled for January and it had to be cancelled due to his arrest. The fraudsters had transferred SR 22,000 from the bank account of a woman in Riyadh to that of Chandrashekhara (opened fraudulently).

Then the money was transferred to another bank account outside Saudi Arabia. Chandrashekhara was arrested after the woman, who lost her money, lodged a police complaint, Gowda said. Chandrashekhara’s mother Hemavathi appealed to the district administration, local MP and MLAs and the Ministry of External Affairs to help get her son released from the Saudi jail.

“We will appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to ensure Chandrashekhara’s early release. Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje has stated that she will take up the matter with the External Affairs Minister,” Gowda said. He said Chandrashekhhara’s friends in Riyadh have spent nearly Rs 10 lakh to fight his case. Social activist Shashidhar Shetty said a social media campaign will be launched seeking justice for Chandrashekhara.

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