Two Nigerians among three held for Rs.3 mn net fraud

April 9th, 2008 - 8:41 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) Two Nigerians were among three people arrested for allegedly hacking into bank accounts of people and illegally withdrawing money to the tune of Rs.3.35 million, the police said Wednesday. Ibimina Joshua, 38, Fellx Awatefe, 33, both Nigerians, and Nurul Huda Khan, 26, from Manipur, were held here Tuesday for allegedly swindling people via the Internet.

Two laptops, two forged South Korean passports, one expired Nigerian passport, five mobile phones, 17 credit cards and 18 chequebooks of several banks were seized from them, the police said.

The police also claimed to have seized 50 duplicate mobile phone bills, five mobile SIM cards and seven forged driving licences.

The accused hacked at least 23 bank accounts of 33 people across the country and were operating from the capital for the past few months, a police official said.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Anil Shukla said investigations began after a HDFC Bank’s Risk Control Unit here reported the matter to the Special Operation Squad (SOS) in February.

The bank manager told the police that a Delhi-based customer had complained of an unauthorised transaction of Rs.175,000 to an account of in the name of M. Basumatari.

“He also said they had received similar complaints from customers in Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai,” Shukla said.

The gang used to send bulk e-mails carrying the fake logo of the bank to account holders, informing them that there were “systemic errors” in their accounts that prevented them from conducting online transactions.

They then asked customers to once again provide account details, including their login identities and password. The group had sent nearly 100,000 fake mails to account holders.

The trio illegally transferred money from the accounts of those who responded to these mails. They transferred money to accounts of some acquaintances, Shukla said.

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