Bangkok woman runs Rs.50 mn e-ticketing fraud in India, four held

December 28th, 2008 - 6:57 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 28 (IANS) Delhi Police Sunday said a 50-year-old woman of Indian origin based in Bangkok is suspected to have been running an e-ticket scam worth millions of rupees from India and four people have been arrested in this connection.Naeem Ahmed, 24, Shahid Iqbal, 25, and Feroz Alam, 23, all resident of West Bengal, were arrested from Kolkata Dec 20. Their woman accomplice Kanika Budhiraja, 27, was arrested from Rana Pratap Bagh in the capital Thursday.

Budhiraja’s mother Manjit Kaur alias Karampal Kaur and brother Sanjit Singh, both residents of Bangkok, are suspected to be the brains behind the racket, police said.

Iqbal and Alam run travel agencies in Kolkata.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Neeraj Thakur said the accused used to buy airlines and rail tickets on the internet using credit card details obtained fraudulently.

“Budhiraja’s mother Manjit Kaur used to provide credit card details to Ahmed, who then purchased airline tickets as well as rail tickets using these stolen credit card details on the internet and gave the same to Iqbal and Alam,” Thakur said.

“The two sold these tickets in cash to customers by offering huge discounts. Naeem would then deposit the money in an Axis Bank account for all the stolen credit card details he received from Manjit Kaur via e-mail in Kolkata,” he added.

This account was opened in the name of Budhiraja, who used to withdraw money from it and send it to her mother in Bangkok through illegal channels.

According to police, more than 5,000 airline tickets and train tickets were purchased by the accused using fraudulently obtained details of at least 40 credit cards.

Indian Railways, Indian Airlines, Air Deccan (now Kingfisher Red), Jet Airways, Indigo, Kingfisher Airlines, Spicejet and various banks like American Express, ABN Amro Russia, Citibank USA, Banko Santiago Chile, ANZ Grindlays Bank, ICICI, HSBC, Zion’s Bank and many others were affected due to the fraud estimated to be worth Rs.50 million.

Thakur said the gang has used credit cards of at least 40 national and international banks and the fraud amount could exceed over Rs.50 million.

“The arrests have highlighted certain lacunae in the ticketing system being followed by commercial airlines in India and across the world,” he added.

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