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International gang of Online Banking fraudsters arrested in Hyderabad

Hyderabad|India: The Panjagutta Police arrested a notorious gang of fraudsters wherein 11 members whose modus operandi includes obtaining a duplicate SIM card of a victim and thereby swindling their funds through online banking. This gang had committed the fraud in Kolkata, Coimbatore, Mumbai, Bangalore, Vizag etc., is wanted by their Police.

Such kinds of frauds are called “phishing”. Phishing is fraudulently obtaining information such as usernames, passwords, credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity. Phishing is typically carried out by e-mail spoofing wherein people are lured to enter details at a fake website whose look and feel is identical one.

In this current case, a Nigerian is found to be the king pin and is operating through his Indian agent located in Kolkata, Mumbai, Vizag etc.,

Sri Anil Sikka, a doctor and resident of Banjara Hills, Hyderabad having bank account with the SBI, Dwarakapuri colony, complained on 02.06.2012 that from his bank account Rs. 5.00 lakhs of money was siphoned away. Accordingly, a case was registered at P.S. Panjagutta and team of police officers began a thorough investigation. The DCP-WZ, formed a special team consisting of ACP Panjagutta, Inspector of Police Sri Tirupathi Rao, Panjagutta P.S, Sri. Koteshwar Rao, Addl. Inspector, Sri K.Sathaiah, DI, Panjagutta, Sri K. Nageshwsar Rao, DSI Jubilee Hills P.S. Sri M.S.V.Kishore DSI, of S.R. Nagar P.S. and PC 6089 Sri Vasanth Kumar, PC 9433 Sri Satyanarayana of Panjagutta P.S.

The team systematically studied the call details and bank account particulars of Anil Sikka and found that he was subject to a phising attack wherein his SIM was blocked and deactivated. The team carefully followed this lead and soon detected that another user had blocked the SIM in Vizag and obtained a duplicate SIM faking the ID proof of Anil Sikka. The team reached a dead end at this point for considerable time. Meanwhile, Anil Sikka’s account showed that the money of Rs. 5 Lakhs had been transferred electronically into the account of accused by name Kushal Chattarjee having bank account with the ICICI Bank, MVP colony, Vizag. The team zeroed in on Kushal Chattarjee and managed to get his true identity. Finally, on 1.7.2012 at about 03.00 pm the team, apprehended all the (10) accused in Kanakadurga lodge at Panjagutta and interrogated the accused.They confessed that they were operating a gang under the aegis of a Nigerian, byname Tony in Nigeria, who phishes the bank accounts. His key agent in India is another Nigerian by name Sunny Uce Uzoma @ Shedrick, operating from Bangalore and in turn has agents working for him in vizag, Kolkata, Mumbai, etc who blocked the SIMs of the potential bank account holders for few hours by applying for a new SIM and then obtaining active new SIM. As soon as the amount was swindled out, SMS is sent to the duplicate SIM card of the accused.

Then the amount was withdrawn by and transferred to Sunny Uce Uzoma. Thus, these offenders operate in the way that they first identify a potential victim with a fat bank account with an option of tele-banking and then they know the phone number of the victim and then they block the SIM for a brief period. During the blocked time, they send an SMS instructing the banker to send money from the account of the victim to another target account. Then, they draw money out of it. Going to the specifics of the facts revealed during the investigation so far, it is revealed that Sunny Uce Uzoma and his gang, so far obtained twenty-five to thirty duplicate SIM cards and siphoned off the money to a tune of Rs. 1 to 1.5 crores. They have cheated the people all over India and finally caught by Hyderabad city police.

Police recovered ATM Cards (22), Gold (3 ˝) tulas cash of Rs. 1,10,000/-, Passport of Uzoma, duplicate SIMs (9), Lap Tops (2), Cell Phones (15) and other items from the accused. Further, the police, in this case, noticed casual and negligent attitude of the cell phone service providers, who gave away the SIM cards in duplicate without proper verification.

In the instant case the Police arrested an employee of cell phone service provider Mr. Venkateshwara Rao for criminal negligence and abetment of the offence.

The C.P Hyderabad, Sri. Anuragh Sharma IPS, appreciated the team and announced suitable rewards in the form of commendations to all the team members to their good work.

-July 2012

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